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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Meacham sounded strong and positive during the hour-long interview, ready to laugh about having to stay close to home because of her cancer treatment — joined unexpectedly by shut-ins across the world trying to stay safe from the coronavirus. Richard A. Marini, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio ‘Roses’ author Leila Meacham battles pancreatic cancer but keeps writing with support and prayers from her fans," 4 Sep. 2020 Americans love to laugh, at each other and with each other, in good times and bad. Matthew Hennessey, WSJ, "Jim Gaffigan, Donald Trump and the Death of Laughter," 4 Sep. 2020 Banquets can be an especially intimidating environment for young working women in China, who are often seated next to older executives and are expected to laugh at their jokes while being plied with alcohol, experts say. New York Times, "For Refusing a Drink With the Boss, He Was Slapped in the Face," 25 Aug. 2020 Live writer is giving people something to laugh about while stuck indoors with a Netflix comedy special. Alamin Yohannes, EW.com, "SNL writer Sam Jay shares how she turned the British Museum up in clip from new comedy special," 2 Aug. 2020 Taylor advised getting everyone together as soon as possible, even if via video, to laugh, and say hello and cry. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "‘You are not alone’: Past Northern California wildfire survivors counsel new members of tragic club," 1 Sep. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has compromised the bedrock of Herzog’s business: people gathering together to drink, talk, laugh and let loose in one another’s company. Anchorage Daily News, "Potentially deadly mix: How bars are fueling coronavirus outbreaks," 25 Aug. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has compromised the bedrock of Herzog’s business: people gathering together to drink, talk, laugh and let loose in one another’s company. oregonlive, "Here’s why bars are getting the blame for spreading coronavirus," 23 Aug. 2020 Having a happy wife might let your husband loosen up a little and begin to laugh with you. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Married woman worries about crush she’s developed for a male friend," 23 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bubba had added a secret ingredient: Fruity Pebbles, Sepulveda recalled with a laugh. Dallas News, "Dallas family waits for justice after 16-year-old killed at the same park where he played basketball," 3 Sep. 2020 But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Ryan Coogler, 'Black Panther' directer, pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman," 30 Aug. 2020 But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Ryan Coogler remembers Chadwick Boseman with emotional tribute," 30 Aug. 2020 But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler Pays Tribute to Chadwick Boseman: 'He Lived a Beautiful Life'," 30 Aug. 2020 But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Read 'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler's entire touching tribute to Chadwick Boseman," 30 Aug. 2020 His laugh that fills a room, his smile that tickles your toes. Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune, "A Minnesota mother mourns her 10-year-old son making the transition from Black boy to Black man," 14 Aug. 2020 In the background, some of the crowd laugh at the beginning of his performance, perhaps from amazement, surprise, or derision. Tom Maxwell, Longreads, "Shelved: Jeff Buckley’s Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk," 10 Aug. 2020 Lewis – who at 35 years old, has plenty of experience himself – had a good laugh when told that his opponent was fighting professionally when Lewis was just 11 years old. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Houston's Derrick Lewis ready to show off improved cardio at UFC Fight Night," 7 Aug. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about laugh

Time Traveler for laugh

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for laugh

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Laugh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/laugh. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for laugh

laugh

verb
How to pronounce laugh (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on laugh

What made you want to look up laugh? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!