laugh

verb
\ ˈlaf, 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 , 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

We've been granted a gift, a [canvas] to paint with our talent, one that can make people laugh or cry or maybe do both. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Read Carol Burnett's Incredibly Nostalgic Golden Globes Speech," 7 Jan. 2019 Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s take on Hollywood’s leading men Fey and Poehler should teach a class (or at least Gervais) on how to host awards shows that make your audience laugh while simultaneously poking fun at them. Vogue, "The Most Shocking Golden Globe Moments of All Time," 3 Jan. 2019 Leach did several media interviews, and made people laugh. Scott Hanson, The Seattle Times, "A day with Mike Leach: Unfazed by ESPN hoopla, WSU coach remains inquisitive and eccentric," 25 Oct. 2018 Walter had an uncanny ability to make people laugh. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deaths in South Florida: 7/8," 8 July 2018 Instead, the writers and director leave this film's dimwitted characters and bumbling science holes to flail about as utter laughing stocks. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The Meg film review: We’re going to need a stupider boat," 10 Aug. 2018 Patrick loved baseball, chicken parmesan with spaghetti, and making other people laugh. Erin Mccarthy, Philly.com, "Jimi Patrick: A funny, hardworking person who lived to help others," 13 July 2018 An addiction to making people laugh and a craving for love? Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Doc Talk: A sad clown and a happy collector," 12 July 2018 Bill had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed making people laugh. courant.com, "William E. Flynn," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dixon said with a laugh following his Sunday night appearance on the NBC obstacle course game show, American Ninja Warrior. Jim Ayello, USA TODAY Sports, "IndyCar drivers expect speed, style to remain consistent at Indianapolis 500," 30 Apr. 2018 The one with the most wins! Blindfolded Makeup Challenge Want some big laughs? Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "25 Fun Challenges to Play With Your Friends," 27 Nov. 2018 Charles looks beside himself with joy holding his grandchild in a tight embrace while sharing a smile that looks like both a smile and a laugh. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "These Photos of Prince Charles as a Dad and as a Granddad Are Utterly Adorable," 19 Nov. 2018 References to troll dolls were made, laughs were had, and the two eventually shook hands. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Lieutenant Commander Dan Crenshaw Joins Pete Davidson on "Saturday Night Live"," 11 Nov. 2018 The speaker either played a happy human sound (a laugh) or an angry human sound (a growl). Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Horses may understand human emotion, especially anger," 6 Sep. 2018 In a narrower test, Dutch subjects were unable to identify even the laughs of other Dutchmen. Popular Mechanics, "Can You Tell Someone's Nationality From Their Laugh?," 9 Aug. 2018 Dylan Mahon reached for the royal’s facial hair as Harry playfully grimaced and Meghan stifled a laugh. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "This Toddler Couldn't Stop Touching Meghan Markle's Hair and Prince Harry Wasn't Having It!," 11 July 2018 The 'best player on the other team' comment came with a laugh as a nod Stephenson's mercurial nature, highlighted by his clashes with LeBron James. Andrew Hussey, Indianapolis Star, "Lance Stephenson responds to Pacers president Kevin Pritchard comment," 6 July 2018

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

16 Jan 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

: a funny person

laugh

verb
\ ˈlaf, 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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