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 joke (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for joke

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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 LIZ TRUSS’s fellow MPs tend to treat her as a bit of a joke. The Economist, "Bagehot Liz Truss and the power of perkiness," 10 Apr. 2021 After all, the playwright-performance artist is on stage in a particularly shabby form of drag and starting his one-man show with the promise of a 9-11 joke. Manuel Mendoza, Dallas News, "D-FW theater companies go for laughs at the expense of our turbulent times," 11 Mar. 2021 Besides, the real butt of that joke was the backwardness of Zamunda, primitive in its social expectations despite all that kingly glamor. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, "‘Coming 2 America’ Sows More Than Its Royal Oats," 4 Mar. 2021 There are certainly some project such as Cryptokitties that might strike some as more of a joke than a legitimate enterprise, but that misses the wider point. Sean Stein Smith, Forbes, "Non-Fungible Tokens Are Red Hot; Here Are Some Core Characteristics To Understand," 3 Mar. 2021 On Monday, the singer tweeted criticism of a joke made at her expense on the show. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "Taylor Swift calls out Netflix's Ginny & Georgia for 'lazy, deeply sexist' joke about her past relationships," 1 Mar. 2021 Bob talks about the Invite’s caption contests (including his least favorite genre of caption joke) and gives his side of the famed Cartoon With a ???? Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1425: Sketchy situations with Bob Staake," 25 Feb. 2021 Lockwood is much more accomplished (and has even more viral tweets) than her protagonist, who travels the world on the back of a single joke. Joanne Mcneil, Vulture, "Patricia Lockwood’s Infinite Scroll," 12 Feb. 2021 Gone is the triple repetition, along with quick-cutting camera angles, of the first three words of the opening joke. New York Times, "Chris Rock Re-edits a Special, and the Result Is Fascinating," 12 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Apparently, Cruz is also ready to joke about his decision to flee the country during an unprecedented, deadly winter storm that devastated his home state. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Apparently, Ted Cruz’s Fellow Senators Love Making Fun Of Him As Much As We Do," 26 Feb. 2021 Early on, Geddert found another adult to joke around with: a young Larry Nassar, who was a student of osteopathy at Michigan State at the time. New York Times, "Gymnasts’ Abusers ‘Were Buds and Protected Each Other’," 26 Feb. 2021 Redick and Lonzo Ball even joke about the numerous trade rumors concerning both players. Christopher Dodson, Forbes, "New Orleans Pelicans Could Possibly Trade Every Guard They Did Not Draft In The Next Three Weeks," 28 Feb. 2021 White friends would joke around and call him a racial slur. Reid Forgrave, Star Tribune, "George Floyd protests gave him purpose. But Third Precinct arson plea comes with a price.," 20 Feb. 2021 For late-night writers — whose job requires them to wring comedy out of an absurd and often horrifying news cycle, every single day — figuring out how to joke about Trump became the core challenge. Megh Wright, Vulture, "What I Learned in the Late-Night Joke Mines," 19 Jan. 2021 Teal, a licensed vocational nurse, would normally linger to cheer up her patients, chat about their families, joke around. Los Angeles Times, "Surrounded by death, nursing home workers battle management and fear to protect patients," 27 Dec. 2020 Financial planners will joke that the Federal Reserve has given homeowners a reason to live forever. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Scott Burns: Why I’m taking a bow before unveiling my 2021 fearless financial forecasts," 31 Dec. 2020 Bauer likes to joke that Bieber was the only member of Cleveland’s rotation in 2018 that didn’t have more than 200 strikeouts. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "How Cy Young winners Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber motivated each other," 16 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for joke

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on joke

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