jok·​er | \ˈjō-kər \

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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Synonyms for joker


bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, cretin, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, jerk, louse, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin

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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

In the case of McHenry, McCormack said, organizers start over with a new deck when someone draws the second joker. Robert Mccoppin,, "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,, "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., "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,, "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,, "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 The men’s magazine poked fun at corporate sibling Vanity Fair with it’s latest comedy cover featuring multi-limbed jokers Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae and Sarah Silverman. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "GQ pokes some fun at Vanity Fair with its comedy cover," 17 May 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.

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First Known Use of joker

circa 1726, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near joker





joker trap



Statistics for joker

Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for joker

The first known use of joker was circa 1726

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More Definitions for joker



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

: an annoying, stupid, or offensive person


jok·​er | \ˈjō-kər \

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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