joke

noun
\ ˈjōk How to pronounce joke (audio) \

Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something said or done to provoke laughter especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist
b(1) : the humorous or ridiculous element in something
(2) : an instance of jesting : kidding can't take a joke
2 : something not to be taken seriously : a trifling matter consider his skiing a joke— Harold Callender often used in negative constructions it is no joke to be lost in the desert

joke

verb
joked; joking

Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make the object of a joke : kid

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Other Words from joke

Verb

jokingly \ ˈjō-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce jokingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for joke

Synonyms: Noun

boff (or boffo), boffola, crack, drollery, funny, gag, giggle [chiefly British], jape, jest, josh, laugh, nifty, one-liner, pleasantry, quip, rib, sally, waggery, wisecrack, witticism, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

Synonyms: Verb

banter, chaff, fool, fun, gag, jape, jest, jive, jolly, josh, kid, quip, wisecrack, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

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Examples of joke in a Sentence

Noun

She meant it as a joke, but many people took her seriously. They played a harmless joke on him. They are always making jokes about his car. I heard a funny joke yesterday. the punch line of a joke I didn't get the joke. That exam was a joke. Their product became a joke in the industry. He's in danger of becoming a national joke.

Verb

My friends would joke about the uniform I had to wear at work. She joked about the possibility of losing her job. I thought he was joking when he said he might quit, but it turned out that he really meant it. Don't take it seriously: I was only joking. She spent a few minutes joking with reporters after giving her speech. She joked that she could always get work as a truck driver if she lost her job.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Popular items such as the jokes Phyllis Diller scrawled on index cards were finished off pretty quickly, notes Effie Kapsalis, the Smithsonian’s senior digital program officer. Debra Bruno, Washington Post, "The National Archives has billions of handwritten documents. With cursive skills declining, how will we read them?," 17 June 2019 On Saturday evening, Waters and Mitchell traded stories and jokes for an hour, buoyed by an enthusiastic crowd. Nora Mcgreevy, BostonGlobe.com, "John Waters and John Cameron Mitchell trade jokes at Provincetown International Film Festival," 17 June 2019 For now, in case Saturday marked the end of Lakers jokes for the foreseeable future, here is one last look at that clip of Rob Pelinka telling the Heath Ledger story. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "Anthony Davis Trade Winners and Losers: The Lakers Jackpot, Pelicans Haul and Celtics Disaster," 16 June 2019 Wearing headsets to talk to one another, groups of friends trade jokes and gossip while battling to survive. Sarah E. Needleman, WSJ, "The Man Behind ‘Fortnite’," 15 June 2019 In the hours since his Twitter account debuted, many have posted jokes and memes about Simpson, especially his comments about getting even. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "O.J. Simpson joins Twitter and is greeted by a chorus of quips," 15 June 2019 As such, some organizations on Facebook use coy in-jokes and other far-right dog whistling tactics to circumvent Facebook’s algorithmic filters. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Hundreds of active and former police officers are part of extremist Facebook groups," 14 June 2019 The zombies themselves are jokes, so that their kills — and their killing — is affectless. Armond White, National Review, "The Dead Don’t Die: Climate-Change Comedy for the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Era," 14 June 2019 The idea of casting Iggy Pop as a zombie isn’t just an excellent joke. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“The Dead Don’t Die” Does the Zombie Genre to Death," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With all the fun and joking out of the way, Huda gets down to beauty businesses, and walks followers through a complete tutorial of her look. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Huda Kattan Recreated Her Prom Makeup for a New YouTube Beauty Tutorial," 12 June 2019 Smart Conservatives have taken to joking that Mr Stewart is the sort of Tory who is embraced by people who don’t vote Tory. The Economist, "Rory Stewart, odd man out," 7 June 2019 Off the court, Mortenson joked with friends, was happy-go-lucky and seemed to always have a smile on her face, Hanson said. Kevin Wallevand, Twin Cities, "‘She touched everybody’s hearts’: Northwestern Minnesota teen found dead in submerged car," 3 June 2019 Back then, the friends would joke about rooming together someday and having a closet big enough for all of their clothes. Teen Vogue, "YanYan Makes A Case For Wearing Knits In The Summer," 30 May 2019 Prince William also joked with the crowd about his own children. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince William Just Commented on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Baby, Which Is Due Any Day Now," 27 Apr. 2019 When Elisabeth recently returned to the program, Joy joked with her about their many on-air spats. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Inside 'The View' Stars Meghan McCain and Joy Behar’s Tumultuous On-Air Relationship," 11 Apr. 2019 Some Serbs — whose team didn’t make it past the group stage — joked about Croatia being a better team, with a popular post on social media declaring that Serbia’s biggest success recently in soccer was being a neighbor to a World Cup finalist. Washington Post, "Mixed emotions in Balkans over Croatia’s World Cup success," 13 July 2018 That news, plus Ubisoft delays one game and jokes about another, a second Vampire: The Masquerade game is announced, World of Warcraft Classic opens beta signups, Metro details its two expansions, and KFC gets put in its place by Respawn. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: World of Warcraft Classic enters beta, another new Vampire: The Masquerade game," 17 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'joke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of joke

Noun

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1670, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for joke

Noun

Latin jocus; perhaps akin to Old High German gehan to say, Sanskrit yācati he asks

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Dictionary Entries near joke

joisting

jojoba

jo-jotte

joke

jokebook

jokeless

jokelet

Statistics for joke

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for joke

The first known use of joke was in 1670

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More Definitions for joke

joke

noun

English Language Learners Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something said or done to cause laughter
: a brief story with a surprising and funny ending
disapproving : someone or something that is not worth taking seriously

joke

verb

English Language Learners Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say things that are meant to cause laughter : to make jokes about someone or something

joke

noun
\ ˈjōk How to pronounce joke (audio) \

Kids Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something said or done to cause laughter or amusement They hid his shoes as a joke.
2 : a very short story with a funny ending that is a surprise The boys sat around telling jokes.
3 : something not worthy of being taken seriously Her excuse was a joke.

joke

verb
joked; joking

Kids Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to say or do something to cause laughter or amusement
2 : to make funny remarks The children joked about my cooking.

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More from Merriam-Webster on joke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for joke

Spanish Central: Translation of joke

Nglish: Translation of joke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of joke for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about joke

Comments on joke

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