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

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Other Words from joke

Verb

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

Synonyms for joke

Synonyms: Noun

boff (or boffo), boffola, crack, drollery, funny, gag, giggle [chiefly British], jape, jest, josh, laugh, nifty, one-liner, pleasantry, quip, rib, sally, waggery, wisecrack, witticism, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

Synonyms: Verb

banter, chaff, fool, fun, gag, jape, jest, jive, jolly, josh, kid, quip, wisecrack, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

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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

The chain just added the new espresso drink in two flavors — caramel and cinnamon — to its permanent menu, and the cloud part of the name is no joke. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Is Starbucks' New Cloud Macchiato Healthy? A Nutritionist Weighs In," 5 Mar. 2019 As Londoner Rupert Wilson explains, the song was at first a joke because fans had no hopes of getting to the World Cup finals. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "What it's like living through England's devastating World Cup loss at a British pub," 11 July 2018 The developers will make a joke about it in-game tomorrow. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "In 2018, Ninja became Twitch’s first mainstream star," 20 Dec. 2018 Maude Gorman, 24, resigned from the running for the Miss Massachusetts Miss America Organization after an emcee made a joke about the women’s movement on stage while mentioning the removal of the swimsuit competition from the pageant. Jerome Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "‘It was heartbreaking’: Mass. beauty queen gives back crown after #MeToo joke," 9 July 2018 The Bronx natives met during summer school but reconnected years later on Twitter, where their pithy, street-smart jokes earned them retweets, replies and followers galore. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet," 28 June 2018 But Bethesda put out the below trailer for April Fools’ Day this week, then confirmed it’s not a joke. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Borderlands 3 is an Epic exclusive, Obsidian shows off The Outer Worlds," 5 Apr. 2019 Most people ignored it or made sarcastic jokes online about having to drop their barbecue plans at the last minute. Amy B Wang, Washington Post, "‘No place to recharge my Kindle’: Letters imagine the front lines of America’s ‘second civil war’," 3 July 2018 For example, one of the hosts of BET's after show was Insta-comedia Jess Hilarious, who has unapologetically made transphobic jokes on her Instagram page. refinery29.com, "The BET Awards Used To Lead; Now They're Falling Behind," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

GoodDyeYoung even joked that Williams's hair was to blame for Wednesday's Instagram outage. Marci Robin, Allure, "Hayley Williams Just Dyed Her Hair Orange Again, and Paramore Fans Are Freaking Out," 14 Mar. 2019 Kelly has often joked publicly about how working for Mr. Trump is the hardest job he's ever had, including those on the battlefield. CBS News, "Trump says "that I don't know" when asked if John Kelly is leaving," 29 June 2018 Tune in to see celebs dancing, joking around, and, no doubt, giving some iconic speeches. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "How To Watch the 2019 Golden Globes," 4 Jan. 2019 All joking aside, the clash is symbolic of what has become Facebook’s daily challenge: Identifying what is and isn’t news, while also serving billions of users with a range of different political beliefs. Kara Swisher, Recode, "Media — both on the left and right — are pressing Facebook to define what journalism is," 17 July 2018 Rakitić jokes that being surrounded by so many different cuisines is perhaps what caused his stomach to act up. SI.com, "Ivan Rakitić Reveals the Change in Diet Which Has Helped His Recovery & Performance," 8 July 2018 The Real Housewives of Constantinople, joked one friend—then rent an English-language audio guide at the entrance. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018 Other celebrities who've praised Garten in the past are Taylor Swift, Katie Couric, and even the Duchess of Sussex–who, as Garten joked, owes her royal engagement to the chef's engagement roast chicken. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "Ina Garten and Jennifer Garner Just Adorably Ate Animal-Style Burgers at In-N-Out Together," 7 Dec. 2018 The women were a jolly bunch, laughing and joking together. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near joke

joisting

jojoba

jo-jotte

joke

jokebook

jokeless

jokelet

Statistics for joke

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for joke

The first known use of joke was in 1670

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on joke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on joke

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