laugh

verb
\ 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

laugh

noun

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

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Other Words from laugh

Verb

laughingly \ ˈla-​fiŋ-​lē How to pronounce laughingly (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kevin had the quickest wit, always ready to make anyone laugh, the funniest man in the room. courant.com, "Kevin Kuhns," 24 June 2019 Making people laugh has value in giving people positive emotions about the environment and nature. Dani Rabaiotti, Quartz, "What animal farts—yes, animal farts—can teach us about climate change," 18 June 2019 Watch him give his reply—and make Kate laugh—below. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Had Some Sweet Words for Prince Harry, After Baby Sussex's Arrival," 7 May 2019 John is partial to the version with chickens and chicken, ahem, salad, Jarrett laughs. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "In fight for his life, John Andretti won't quit helping kids with Race for Riley," 27 June 2019 Boston’s hopes of acquiring an Anthony Davis-type talent may be dashed in the short-term, but after catching my breath from laughing, the truth is this summer hasn’t been a complete and total disaster from the Celtics. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "The Celtics Need to Figure Out Their Timeline, Then Focus on Title Aspirations," 21 June 2019 The commentators are initially shocked, but just laugh it off as Marshawn being Marshawn. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Profound Silence of Marshawn Lynch," 14 June 2019 Later that night, Hugh Grant laughs while pulling up her skirt. Shira Feder, Vox, "The rise of granny panties," 5 June 2019 When asked by an audience member after the movie’s first screening if any animals were hurt during the production (some seagulls have a rough go of it), Dafoe laughed and gestured at himself and his co-star. Jake Coyle, The Seattle Times, "‘The Lighthouse,’ with Robert Pattinson, illuminates Cannes," 20 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

He will be remembered for his infectious enthusiasm, tremendous wit and incredible laugh. orlandosentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/14," 14 July 2019 Even viewers who take their comedy black, without sugar, may wince at the violence that is doled out; Stearns raises laughs and then chokes them off. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“The Farewell” Mixes Mourning and Revelry," 12 July 2019 By Carlos Gonzalez and Amanda Svachula A Shepard Fairey mural of Maya Angelou, mid-laugh in the sunshine, now sweeps across an exterior wall of a Los Angeles high school bearing her name. Amanda Svachula, New York Times, "Maya Angelou, Reimagined Through Art," 9 July 2019 But every laugh underscored how mismatched to the purpose this format was. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Hollywood Tried to Save America with a Live Reading of the Mueller Report," 25 June 2019 Here's hoping the show keeps on delivering the laughs. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "9 TV Shows and Movies to Watch in Between Your July 4th Festivities," 30 June 2019 The memories, laughs and time spent together will be cherished forever by his family. courant.com, "Walter A. Pastuszak," 28 June 2019 Pauly D and Vinny are reality veterans, self-aware enough to doubt this whole process, funny enough to earn laughs mangling the ceremonial lingo of elimination events. Darren Franich, EW.com, "In praise of the goofy, shocking, endearing Double Shot at Love finale," 28 June 2019 The most successful moments of the show from a theatrical perspective were the laugh lines. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Hollywood Tried to Save America with a Live Reading of the Mueller Report," 25 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of laugh

Verb

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

Noun

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

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Statistics for laugh

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for laugh

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

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More Definitions for laugh

laugh

verb

English Language Learners Definition of laugh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to show that you are happy or that you think something is funny by smiling and making a sound from your throat
: to think or say that someone or something is foolish and does not deserve serious attention or respect
: to not be bothered by something

laugh

noun

English Language Learners Definition of laugh (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or sound of laughing
: something that causes laughter : something funny or foolish
chiefly British : a funny person

laugh

verb
\ 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

laugh

noun

Kids Definition of laugh (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or sound of laughing

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More from Merriam-Webster on laugh

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with laugh

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for laugh

Spanish Central: Translation of laugh

Nglish: Translation of laugh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laugh for Arabic Speakers

Comments on laugh

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