jok·​er | \ ˈjō-kər How to pronounce joker (audio) \

Definition of joker

1a : a person given to joking : wag
b : fellow, guy especially : an insignificant, obnoxious, or incompetent person a shame to let a joker like this win — Harold Robbins
2 : a playing card added to a pack as a wild card or as the highest-ranking card
3a(1) : an ambiguous or apparently immaterial clause inserted in a legislative bill to make it inoperative or uncertain in some respect
(2) : an unsuspected, misleading, or misunderstood clause, phrase, or word in a document that nullifies or greatly alters it
b : something (such as an expedient or stratagem) held in reserve to gain an end or escape from a predicament
c : an unsuspected or not readily apparent fact, factor, or condition that thwarts or nullifies a seeming advantage

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Examples of joker in a Sentence

Jokers are wild in this game. I can't believe I let that joker beat me. Some joker hit our car.
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Recent Examples on the Web Coburn thought some joker was playing with the microphone until the ship’s general alarm sounded. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Locked-down Pearl Harbor vet recalls fateful events 79 years ago today," 7 Dec. 2020 My grandma would keep score with a notepad and neat cursive, listing each of seven rounds, our scores and a star when someone got a joker. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Our favorite card games for holiday fun, from Brisc to Slap," 21 Nov. 2020 This resonates with Davidson and Romick, who said Bassitt could be a practical joker as well as a teammate that players gravitated toward. Matt Kawahara,, "A’s Chris Bassitt fueled by energy drinks, embracing his role and ‘inner weird’," 4 Oct. 2020 Cameron Sample and joker Patrick Johnson, a pair of seniors, are the book ends. G Smith,, "Looking up: Tulane banking on big improvement from hungry defense," 29 Aug. 2020 Cohen is a joker back and a valuable chess piece for the offense. Colleen Kane,, "Just how big of a setback is David Montgomery’s groin injury for the Bears offense? And what challenges exist if they dip into the free-agent market? Here’s a rundown.," 27 Aug. 2020 Susan Peck will remember her father, George Smith, as the practical joker who could fix just about anything. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "Family describes 12th Alaskan to die with COVID-19 as a devoted husband and practical joker," 14 June 2020 The cancer cabal, Nic said, and the doctor flicked his eyes at her in recognition: another joker in the room. Lauren Groff, The Atlantic, "Birdie," 14 Jan. 2020 While the girls living in their home knew Debra as the enforcer who handed out medication and drove them to appointments in a big van, Miguel was the joker who gave the girls nicknames. Allie Morris,, "Destiny was 15 when her outcry sparked a #MeToo reckoning in Texas foster care. Now, the trial.," 6 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'joker.' 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 joker

circa 1726, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for joker

Time Traveler

The first known use of joker was circa 1726

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Statistics for joker

Last Updated

20 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for joker


How to pronounce joker (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of joker

: a person who tells or makes many jokes
: an extra card used in some card games usually as a wild card
informal : an annoying, stupid, or offensive person


jok·​er | \ ˈjō-kər How to pronounce joker (audio) \

Kids Definition of joker

1 : a person who says or does things to make others laugh
2 : an extra card used in some card games

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