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 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 The joker is the torrential rains of Monday night, which raised water levels several feet in some lakes and rivers and also put a lot of murky water into most systems. Frank Sargeant, al, "Friday Fishing Report: Plenty of good fishing during holidays," 20 Dec. 2019 As noted by the BBC, online jokers (Tseng included) had plenty of fun asserting that this was a sign that Wakanda was the latest target of a trade war by President Donald Trump’s administration. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Wakanda Appears, Then Disappears, From USDA Free Trade Agreement List," 19 Dec. 2019 Artist Kellii Wood of Petersburg did the anatomy drawings and decorated the card backs, Olson said, and Ray Troll’s quirky artwork adorns the jokers. Anchorage Daily News, "Fish and Game unveils playing cards filled with facts about Alaska rockfish," 17 Dec. 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.

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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

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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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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