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 An episode of The Golden Girls has been removed from Hulu, for a blackface joke that features Rue McClanahan and Betty White wearing mud masks. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "The Golden Girls episode pulled from Hulu for blackface joke," 28 June 2020 The fact that Batman and Robin both had suits with prominent nipples became a well-trod joke. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "Joel Schumacher and the Non-Crisis of Infinite Batmans," 26 June 2020 Gary’s cynicism, steeped in the truth that Big Money is what keeps the political gears turning, is the movie’s chief joke. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Jon Stewart’s Irresistible Is a Political Comedy Heavy on Zingers But Light on Revelations," 24 June 2020 The destruction of Mount Rushmore has become an online joke of sorts as the bar for which monuments are vandalized and called to be destroyed by protesters. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "'Not on my watch': South Dakota governor vows to protect Mount Rushmore from vandals," 23 June 2020 Instant replay has become a joke, creating interminable delays with the challenge system, the view from the video room, the perusal at New York headquarters and the umpires huddling together with headphones. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "As baseball plans its return, some suggestions for a much-needed overhaul," 23 June 2020 Mixer was the weakest link in this strategy, which despite providing a high quality experience, became a running joke of the streaming industry thanks to its low viewership numbers. Washington Post, "Microsoft shuts down streaming service Mixer to team up with Facebook," 22 June 2020 Centennial coach Richard Taylor, among the speakers, called Hoffpauir a prankster, once pulling a joke on him that a key player before a big playoff game was going to quit. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Zach Hoffpauir remembered for compassion, friendship during powerful celebration of life," 1 June 2020 However, publicly, Raymond seems a little more jazzed about his Space Force appointment than the character Naird was in the first episode of Space Force, when he was given what the other generals were calling a joke branch. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "Space Force’s Mark Naird Is Part Michael Scott, Part Real General," 29 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Its title became a meme format to joke about low-quality or terrible sequels, for example: Frankenstein 2: Electric Boogaloo, Lord of the Flies 2: Electric Boogaloo, or in this case a sequel to the civil war. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Who Are The Boogaloo Bois? These Hawaiian Shirt-Wearing, Gun-Toting Americans Want War," 19 June 2020 Had to laugh at his musical partner, Dan Polk, who joked that Dave wasn’t used to doing the talking! Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Residents and businesses trying to stay as ‘normal’ as possible during coronavirus pandemic: Whit & Whimsey," 3 Apr. 2020 The title was inspired partly by Beck’s son, who jokes that Johnny Cash’s songs are all about murder, trains, and Jesus. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "Johnny Cash’s Gospel," 9 Feb. 2020 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

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

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Joke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joke. Accessed 10 Jul. 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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