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

In response, Meghan McCain started laughing hysterically, and then made a joke about Joy and President Trump. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Co-Star Joy Behar Revealed Her 'Fifty Shades' Fantasy and Meghan McCain Lost It," 1 May 2019 One of the first men to line up on this Thursday speaks mostly just Spanish but that doesn’t stop Brice, who only speaks English, from cracking jokes with him. Nyssa Kruse, courant.com, "CRT Volunteer George Brice Helps The Hungry, 'Rain Or Shine'," 12 July 2018 The real voice of Tom Hanks telling cheesy jokes from the nearly 20-foot tall Woody statue at the land’s entrance. Gabrielle Russon, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney Toy Story Land first look: Details bring attraction to life," 28 June 2018 Then in 2016 Razer adopted it for its April Fools joke, with a toaster mockup called Project Breadwinner. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Razer is making a toaster, Sonic has human baby teeth," 3 May 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Off the court, Mortenson joked with friends, was happy-go-lucky and seemed to always have a smile on her face, Hanson said. Kevin Wallevand, Twin Cities, "‘She touched everybody’s hearts’: Northwestern Minnesota teen found dead in submerged car," 3 June 2019 Back then, the friends would joke about rooming together someday and having a closet big enough for all of their clothes. Teen Vogue, "YanYan Makes A Case For Wearing Knits In The Summer," 30 May 2019 Prince William also joked with the crowd about his own children. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince William Just Commented on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Baby, Which Is Due Any Day Now," 27 Apr. 2019 When Elisabeth recently returned to the program, Joy joked with her about their many on-air spats. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Inside 'The View' Stars Meghan McCain and Joy Behar’s Tumultuous On-Air Relationship," 11 Apr. 2019 Some Serbs — whose team didn’t make it past the group stage — joked about Croatia being a better team, with a popular post on social media declaring that Serbia’s biggest success recently in soccer was being a neighbor to a World Cup finalist. Washington Post, "Mixed emotions in Balkans over Croatia’s World Cup success," 13 July 2018 That news, plus Ubisoft delays one game and jokes about another, a second Vampire: The Masquerade game is announced, World of Warcraft Classic opens beta signups, Metro details its two expansions, and KFC gets put in its place by Respawn. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: World of Warcraft Classic enters beta, another new Vampire: The Masquerade game," 17 May 2019 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

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

6 Jun 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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