joke

noun
\ ˈjōk How to pronounce joke (audio) \

Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something said or done to provoke laughter especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist
b(1) : the humorous or ridiculous element in something
(2) : an instance of jesting : kidding can't take a joke
2 : something not to be taken seriously : a trifling matter consider his skiing a joke— Harold Callender often used in negative constructionsit is no joke to be lost in the desert

joke

verb
joked; joking

Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make the object of a joke : kid

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Other Words from joke

Verb

jokingly \ ˈjō-​kiŋ-​lē How to pronounce jokingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for joke

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of joke in a Sentence

Noun She meant it as a joke, but many people took her seriously. They played a harmless joke on him. They are always making jokes about his car. I heard a funny joke yesterday. the punch line of a joke I didn't get the joke. That exam was a joke. Their product became a joke in the industry. He's in danger of becoming a national joke. Verb My friends would joke about the uniform I had to wear at work. She joked about the possibility of losing her job. I thought he was joking when he said he might quit, but it turned out that he really meant it. Don't take it seriously: I was only joking. She spent a few minutes joking with reporters after giving her speech. She joked that she could always get work as a truck driver if she lost her job.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These baristas take on secret menu challenges, make jokes about difficult customers, and share behind-the-scenes footage of how some of the most popular menu items are crafted. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "Starbucks Recipes You Can Recreate At Home, According To The Internet," 14 May 2020 Science is complex, and conveying that complexity in a few minutes while cracking jokes can be a challenge. National Geographic, "Flower Farm," 13 May 2020 People were really comfortable talking about death and making jokes about it. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Whitmer Thomas on staying creative, funny and sincere during crisis," 8 May 2020 Pretending that counts as social distancing is a joke. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Southwest CEO Says It's Safe to Fly Again. Our Math Says It Isn't.," 4 May 2020 As the sheriff sat at De La Fuente’s bedside, the deputy began making jokes. Emilie Eaton, ExpressNews.com, "Bexar County detention deputy dies after testing positive for COVID-19," 30 Apr. 2020 But the money the Billy Goat Tavern is losing during the coronavirus outbreak is no joke. Michael Tarm, The Christian Science Monitor, "Should insurance cover business losses during a pandemic?," 23 Apr. 2020 One of the draws of the platform is that drivers can link into one another on a live stream, where they banter, argue, make jokes and discuss the racing. CBS News, "NASCAR'S Kyle Larson uses racial slur during iRacing event," 13 Apr. 2020 One of the draws of the platform is that drivers can link into one another on a live stream, where they banter, argue, make jokes and discuss the racing. Jenna Fryer, Houston Chronicle, "NASCAR's Kyle Larson suspended for racial slur in virtual race," 13 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Adams also directed the scheme and also joked about it. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Florida man pleads guilty in multi-million prescription fraud case at Alabama pharmacy," 11 May 2020 Her friends have joked that her house is the place to be if an apocalypse occurs. Madison Smalstig, USA Today, "95-year-old Texas woman won't let coronavirus wreck her birthday," 3 Apr. 2020 Shutdown orders across the nation prompted a flurry of half-joking speculation that Generation X, a cluster of former latchkey kids raised on pop culture that plumbed social alienation, was uniquely prepared to weather quarantining at home. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Generational Warfare in a Pandemic," 22 Apr. 2020 Kaline used to joke with him about the mustache, and joke with him in general. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "That time Al Kaline 'suckered' Tom Selleck in 1991. Here's what happened," 8 Apr. 2020 After the elders had finished the rites, the crowd returned to Chacho's home, laughing and joking. Scientific American, "How Disaster Aid Ravaged an Island People," 25 Mar. 2020 Twitter users were quick to joke about the timing of the two moments. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Sarah Palin raps "Baby Got Back" while dressed as a bear, shocking "The Masked Singer" viewers," 12 Mar. 2020 Pundits have joked that a big part of the Space Force’s mission will be IT security, and that’s actually not far from the truth. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Space Force's New Mission? Protecting 5G," 5 Mar. 2020 In the flood of U.S. press this week, RM has also been inclined to joke about the seven members' glow-ups since 2013. P. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "BTS Talks "ON" and New Album in Apple Music Interview With Zane Lowe," 21 Feb. 2020

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

Noun

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1670, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for joke

Noun

Latin jocus; perhaps akin to Old High German gehan to say, Sanskrit yācati he asks

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Learn More about joke

Statistics for joke

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for joke

joke

noun
How to pronounce joke (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something said or done to cause laughter
: a brief story with a surprising and funny ending
disapproving : someone or something that is not worth taking seriously

joke

verb

English Language Learners Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say things that are meant to cause laughter : to make jokes about someone or something

joke

noun
\ ˈjōk How to pronounce joke (audio) \

Kids Definition of joke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something said or done to cause laughter or amusement They hid his shoes as a joke.
2 : a very short story with a funny ending that is a surprise The boys sat around telling jokes.
3 : something not worthy of being taken seriously Her excuse was a joke.

joke

verb
joked; joking

Kids Definition of joke (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to say or do something to cause laughter or amusement
2 : to make funny remarks The children joked about my cooking.

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More from Merriam-Webster on joke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for joke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joke

Spanish Central: Translation of joke

Nglish: Translation of joke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of joke for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about joke

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