joker

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

If the 2020 Democratic primary race is starting to feel a bit like a clown car, then there’s great news: one of the latest Dems to throw his hat in is quite the joker. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Teens Started Mike Gravel's Meme-Heavy 2020 Presidential Campaign," 9 Apr. 2019 In the case of McHenry, McCormack said, organizers start over with a new deck when someone draws the second joker. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Another VFW Queen of Hearts raffle tops $1 million as games grow in popularity, prizes," 22 May 2018 The Queen of Hearts game board typically consists of a deck of 52 cards plus two jokers. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Queen of Hearts raffles with big jackpots spreading to Chicago bars," 22 June 2018 Ibrahimovic has always come across as a bit of a joker. SI.com, "6 of the Biggest Pranksters in Football," 17 June 2018 Not to be outdone, Comcast came with the big joker Wednesday and made an unsolicited offer of $65 billion in cash for Fox’s assets, CNET reports. Monique Judge, The Root, "Disney and Comcast Set to Go Into Bidding War Over 21st Century Fox," 13 June 2018 Mark Hamill, the reigning joker of Twitter, posted a humorous tweet with a photo of Darth Vader (his onscreen father) and Father’s Day wishes. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Celebs, TV shows, and more celebrate Father's Day," 17 June 2018 Siam Nowarah said his son was a normal teenager, the joker of the family who listened to Western pop music stars like Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "After a killing, an Israeli soldier and an Arab family confront justice," 16 June 2018 Because in the contemporary landscape, the liberal joker's heart is always in the right place. Fox News, "2014 photo of detained children used as swipe against Trump," 3 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of joker

circa 1726, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about joker

Dictionary Entries near joker

jokebook

jokeless

jokelet

joker

joker trap

jokesmith

jokester

Statistics for joker

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for joker

The first known use of joker was circa 1726

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for joker

joker

noun

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

joker

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on joker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joker

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for joker

Spanish Central: Translation of joker

Nglish: Translation of joker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of joker for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about joker

Comments on joker

What made you want to look up joker? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!