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 joke (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 Neil Ponstein, who owns a bait, tackle and convenience store near the bridge, said that the question of when the bridge will reopen has become a running joke with his customers. Sara Pagones | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "U.S. 11 bridge reopening now pushed to spring two years after closure for repairs," 10 Jan. 2021 That his dopey country mouse of a cousin represents his best chance at companionship is the painful joke spun out until the end. Yasmine Seale, Harpers Magazine, "Slow Burn," 5 Jan. 2021 Every critical book or late-night joke at his expense or media company that didn’t bend to his will was called a failure. Judy Berman, Time, "Donald Trump's Presidency Was Supposed to Be Great for Art. It Wasn't," 5 Jan. 2021 Mireles lifted Stanley’s dress for a reposition as both laugh at a joke. John Kuntz, cleveland, "cleveland.com photographer John Kuntz’s favorite 20 photos from 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 Stevens said he is encouraged by Pritchard’s production but offered a joke about the rookie’s propensity of stepping-out-of-bounds. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, "Celtics coach Brad Stevens says Kemba Walker ‘won’t be back any time soon’," 29 Dec. 2020 To be clear, there's nothing scandalous about a couple making a raunchy joke in public. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Justin Bieber Just Left the Raunchiest Comment About Hailey Baldwin on Instagram," 28 Dec. 2020 The idea that his pitch would survive only as a joke must have dismayed Niekro. New York Times, "Saying Goodbye to the Knuckleball, and Its Master," 28 Dec. 2020 The Coolest Cooler became a running joke in his firehouse, Flores said, as the years dragged by without the cooler arriving. Mike Rogoway, oregonlive, "Coolest Cooler, in final accounting, cost its Kickstarter backers more than $4 million," 26 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Teal, a licensed vocational nurse, would normally linger to cheer up her patients, chat about their families, joke around. Los Angeles Times, "Surrounded by death, nursing home workers battle management and fear to protect patients," 27 Dec. 2020 Financial planners will joke that the Federal Reserve has given homeowners a reason to live forever. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Scott Burns: Why I’m taking a bow before unveiling my 2021 fearless financial forecasts," 31 Dec. 2020 Bauer likes to joke that Bieber was the only member of Cleveland’s rotation in 2018 that didn’t have more than 200 strikeouts. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "How Cy Young winners Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber motivated each other," 16 Nov. 2020 It’s that closeness and ability to laugh and joke with each other that has the Cubs in prime position to defend their crown. Joseph Halm, NOLA.com, "Madison Martin blends in seamlessly as Mount Carmel pushes on for another state volleyball title," 11 Nov. 2020 Criticism of the ambassadors has been muted, but some Singaporeans joke that the people most frequently violating safe-distancing rules are the ambassadors who travel in pairs. David Pierson, Los Angeles Times, "Singapore’s Red Ants are here to remind (and occasionally shame) you about mask-wearing," 19 Nov. 2020 As the election drama heated up last week, Stephen Colbert hosted a Showtime special to joke about the race and then, a few days later on his own CBS show, wore black for a burst of anger aimed at President Trump. Washington Post, "With Biden’s election, late-night television braces for something unexpected: turbulence," 10 Nov. 2020 But even as many observers joke about a robot apocalypse—or the perhaps more realistic possibility that robots will simply take humans’ jobs—Boston Dynamics insists these machines still have a long way to go. Wired, "Boston Dynamics' Robots Won't Take Our Jobs ... Yet," 26 Oct. 2020 As years passed and his attendance streak grew longer, John Levinson used to joke with friends about his commitment to watching Michigan football in person. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football fan has been to every home game since 1964. The streak ends Saturday.," 30 Oct. 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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Statistics for joke

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on joke

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