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 This year, the deck consists only of cards from 10 through ace, plus two jokers, and each card wins at least $5,000. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "With less of a frenzy this year, McHenry VFW Queen of Hearts raffle extended through August," 22 July 2019 Twelve cards remain hidden, out of a starting deck of 22 that contained only face cards, 10s and two jokers. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "At the McHenry VFW Queen of Hearts raffle Tuesday night, they won’t stop drawing tickets until there’s a $2.7 million grand prize winner," 26 Aug. 2019 Ever the joker, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand saw the opportunity to involve himself in a little spat between Stan Collymore and Karl Henry. SI.com, "7 of the Biggest Footballer Twitter Feuds Ever," 8 Sep. 2019 How does his far-right radical (he is described as such) ideas get to become law and policy without the American public authorizing this joker to do this? Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Miller has too much power; Taste of Colorado disappoints; Taxation vexation (9/4/19)," 4 Sep. 2019 With dead-eyed Kendall, Roman the joker king, and Shiv the cold golden child circling around their aggressive, manipulative, and capricious father, media mogul Logan Roy, the show offers endless amusement. Matthew Gilbert, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Succession’ is more ‘Dynasty’ than it is ‘King Lear’," 21 Aug. 2019 To spread the winnings, players will be awarded $5,000 for a 10, $10,000 for a jack, $15,000 for a king, $20,000 for an ace, $25,000 for a queen of clubs spades or diamonds, and $30,000 for a joker. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Fortune-seekers buying their tickets as McHenry Queen of Hearts raffle resumes with new rules and $1.7 million prize," 15 June 2019 There are 51 other possibilities, and that’s not even including jokers. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan Film Rolling Thunder Revue Is One of the Most Truthful Movies You’ll See in 2019," 12 June 2019 But with national hero status comes responsibility, not that the easy-going Kerr, whom Despitovski confirms is a joker, is the sort to let the hopes of a nation weigh heavy on her shoulders. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Sam Kerr: The football prodigy who became Australia's million dollar player," 11 June 2019

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

Statistics for joker

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

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
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

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for joker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!