laugh up one's sleeve

Definition of laugh up one's sleeve

:to be secretly happy about or amused by something (such as someone else's trouble)
  • The mayor's critics were laughing up their sleeves when news of the scandal was first reported.

Word by Word Definitions

laugh play
  1. : to show emotion (such as mirth, joy, or scorn) with a chuckle or explosive vocal sound

  2. : to find amusement or pleasure in something

  3. : to become amused or derisive

  1. : the act of laughing

  2. : a cause for derision or merriment : joke

  3. : an expression of scorn or mockery : jeer

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

sleeve play
  1. : a part of a garment covering an arm

  2. : sleevelet

  3. : a tubular part (such as a hollow axle or a bushing) designed to fit over another part


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