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 constructions it 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from joke

Verb

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

Synonyms for joke

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Software engineer Billy Markus created dogecoin in 2019, mostly as a joke. Washington Post, 14 June 2021 Mark Thompson says the idea began as a joke, then became a dare, then a quest. Dallas News, 11 June 2021 Chip still thinks that, for a lot of people, fascism started as a joke. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 10 June 2021 Dogecoin, created as a joke in response to other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, picked the breed as its mascot, basing it off of a viral meme featuring the dog. Fortune, 8 June 2021 The market for dogecoin, the cryptocurrency that was set up as a joke, has also been sensitive to Mr. Musk’s comments. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Its inclusion on the platform is a major nod to the enduring popularity of the meme coin that started life as a joke. Robert Hart, Forbes, 2 June 2021 When Donald Trump spread a racist lie about President Obama not being born in the US, a lot of people just treated it as a joke. Claudia Dreifus, The New York Review of Books, 1 June 2021 The Tesla billionaire also repeatedly pumped up dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started as a joke, before poking fun of it during his Saturday Night Live appearance earlier this month. Matt Egan, CNN, 20 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While Jeff does briefly joke about the accident in Tuesday's vlog, there are no other mentions of any of the other controversies or accusations currently surrounding David and the Vlog Squad. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 17 June 2021 After a clip of the interview was posted on social media, fans responded with GIFs and memes — as well as criticism of the privilege that allows Kung Minkoff to joke about a run-in with the law. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 2 June 2021 As the post came to a close, the country star went on to joke about his future as a father of four. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, 1 June 2021 People joke that owning a Peloton is a lot like being in a cult. Irene S. Levine, Forbes, 29 May 2021 The show is a comedy series, not an infomercial, and anyone expecting Musk would be allowed to heap breathless praise on the cryptocurrency and not joke about it clearly miscalculated. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 11 May 2021 As the post came to a close, the country star went on to joke about his future as a father of four. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, 9 May 2021 The show also didn’t hesitate to joke about the difference in age between Buccs quarterback Brady, who is 43 years old, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is 25 years old. Shannon Larson, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Feb. 2021 Off stage though, the five Latinx stars love to joke around with each other over their differing opinions about favorite holidays, animals, and, of course, social media. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 1 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About joke

Statistics for joke

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for joke

joke

noun

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.

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!