\ ˈlaf How to pronounce laugh (audio) , ˈläf \
laughed; laughing; laughs

Definition of laugh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to show emotion (such as mirth, joy, or scorn) with a chuckle or explosive vocal sound The audience was laughing hysterically.
b : to find amusement or pleasure in something laughed at his own clumsiness
c : to become amused or derisive a very skeptical public laughed at our early efforts— Graenum Berger
2a : to produce the sound or appearance of laughter a laughing brook
b : to be of a kind that inspires joy the blue sky of Autumn laughs above— Amy Lowell

transitive verb

1 : to influence or move by laughter laughed the bad singer off the stage
2 : to utter with a laugh laughs her consent



Definition of laugh (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of laughing
2a : a cause for derision or merriment : joke
b : an expression of scorn or mockery : jeer
3 laughs plural : diversion, sport play baseball just for laughs

Other Words from laugh


laughingly \ ˈla-​fiŋ-​lē How to pronounce laugh (audio) , ˈlä-​ \ adverb

Examples of laugh in a Sentence

Verb What are you laughing about? The audience was laughing hysterically. I've never laughed so hard in my life. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw what he was wearing. I laughed out loud when I saw him. He laughed so hard I thought he'd die laughing. The movie was hilarious. We laughed our heads off. “I've never seen anything so ridiculous,” he laughed. Noun He gave a loud laugh. a joke that always gets a big laugh The movie has a lot of laughs. You're going to be a movie star? That's a laugh. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Red Arrow is somehow both a harrowing depiction of depression and a laugh-out-loud mystery about physics, psychedelics and the publishing industry. Amy Brady, Scientific American, 1 May 2022 The self-referential writing doesn't take itself too seriously, and the game delivered a few laugh-out-loud moments, even in a 30-minute demo. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 29 Apr. 2022 From laugh-out-loud hilarious to downright sentimental, these are the best Father’s Day posts for every kind of dad. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 25 Apr. 2022 With help and guidance from composer and friend Mark Mueller, Nicol came up with a laugh-out-loud show about her life story with 10 hilarious, original songs. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 20 Apr. 2022 Killing It‘s comedy only rarely rises to laugh-out-loud levels of hilarity, but the odd-couple dynamic between Jillian and Craig makes for a breezy ride. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Apr. 2022 Hannah screams over the music in the club, in one of the episode’s many laugh-out-loud one-liners. Emma Specter, Vogue, 11 Apr. 2022 There are hints of magic woven into the story, along with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments and many groan-inducing puns. Usa Today Staff, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 While Matt adds some laugh-out-loud absurdity, Life & Beth is more touching than anything, led by Amy’s deeply layered performance, and plot lines that reflect life’s confusing (and relatable) transitional spaces. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 24 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kamann said one of her favorite parts of working so closely with Queen was his laugh. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 27 Apr. 2022 For your love, your laugh, your smile, and for our enduring friendship. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Apr. 2022 His smile was breathtaking and his laugh was infectious. Tristan Balagtas,, 20 Apr. 2022 Mike Vecchione at Hilarities Get your laugh on with Mike Vecchione, an Italian-American comedian known for his rapid-fire delivery. cleveland, 14 Apr. 2022 Neither her laugh nor her dramatis personae are merely for entertainment, though. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2022 Known for his big, booming laugh, Dave Crane always wanted to be a firefighter and worked in the fire department for the past 30 years. Jane Bukun,, 4 Apr. 2022 Carinne Henderson is an eternal optimist, known for her infectious laugh. Matthew Vantryon, USA TODAY, 5 Mar. 2022 His voice was soft, laid-back, always punctuated with his laugh. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'laugh.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of laugh


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for laugh

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English hliehhan; akin to Old High German lachēn to laugh

Learn More About laugh

Time Traveler for laugh

Time Traveler

The first known use of laugh was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near laugh

Laue spot



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Statistics for laugh

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Laugh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for laugh


\ ˈlaf How to pronounce laugh (audio) , ˈläf \
laughed; laughing

Kids Definition of laugh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to show amusement, joy, or scorn by smiling and making sounds (as chuckling) in the throat



Kids Definition of laugh (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or sound of laughing

More from Merriam-Webster on laugh

Nglish: Translation of laugh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laugh for Arabic Speakers


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