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

In April, when the Lions drafted Hockenson, Ebron tweeted laughing emojis at Dan Orlovsky after the ex-Lions quarterback praised the pick on Twitter. Chris Thomas, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' T.J. Hockenson is no Eric Ebron, sets NFL record in debut," 8 Sep. 2019 In some conversations, people were laughing, but she was struck by the loneliness in others. Michael Erard, Quartz, "How a doctor and a linguist are using AI to better talk to dying patients," 3 Sep. 2019 At this point, all Scott can really do is laugh, especially after video of the rogue football breaking her nose went viral. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Meet Louisville's Elizabeth Scott, the dancer who suffered a broken nose on national TV," 3 Sep. 2019 Looking back at his MySpace crusade today, Rubio laughs. Wired, "Senators on Protecting Kids' Privacy: 'It's Complicated'," 30 Aug. 2019 Nina Tucker is greeted by Barbara Lewis and Kathy Burns as the evening's host, Phil Downs, laughs. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Hospital cafe entices senior with healthy options, sweet discount," 28 Aug. 2019 Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges retweeted that, with four laughing emoji. Cindy Boren, courant.com, "NCAA wants agents to have college degree, which LeBron James thinks is BS," 8 Aug. 2019 The authors made me laugh, empathize, and totally relate to all of the different mini-columns. BostonGlobe.com, "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine," 18 Aug. 2019 A month later, a month after playing out what became an unlikely bonus round during NBA summer league, Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson can only laugh. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Heat’s Duncan Robinson dishes on Dan Dakich, Andrew Dakich and ESPN’s version of ‘Millionaire’," 15 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Check back here for more laughs throughout the rest of the week. Wired, "Today's Cartoon: September 2, 2019," 2 Sep. 2019 Theodora’s godfather kicked off the celebration with a speech about Theodora’s childhood that garnered a lot of laughs, then sandwiches and croque monsieur were served with Champagne. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "The Bride Wore Emilia Wickstead to Her English Wedding at an 18th-Century Estate," 6 Mar. 2019 That comes in the form of laughs (with returning scene-stealer Michael Peña), aw-shucks heart (with Lang's daughter), and utter frustration (with another scene-stealer, Randall Park as a ragingly insecure FBI agent). Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Christine was occasionally the butt of jokes, but only in the same way as every other character in the show, getting laughs out of her naiveté and lack of irony, rather than her being played by a famous '80s comic in drag. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: The End of 'Baskets' and the Struggle of Loving Niche TV," 22 Aug. 2019 The video then shows Bennett reaching out and shoving Pan in the back after Pan laughs, launching the lawmaker several feet forward. CBS News, "Anti-vaccine activist livestreams himself shoving California lawmaker who wrote vaccination bills," 22 Aug. 2019 Two things in the first trailer spawned goosebumps for old-school fans: voiceover narration by Jedi master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a piece of the Death Star followed by the evil laugh of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Where's Luke? Who's Keri Russell playing? Every 'Star Wars' question we need answered at D23," 22 Aug. 2019 After a string of musical acts, Jeff Foxworthy aims to bring some laughs to the main stage. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska State Fair 2019 concert lineup: Home Free, Cole Swindell, Elle King and more," 22 Aug. 2019 Further Reading Disney’s Gravity Falls is weird Americana meets Lovecraft for kids More often than that, Enter the Florpus elicits laughs—serious out-loud howls—for its willingness to abruptly disobey all logic and reason in the name of absurdity. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus," 16 Aug. 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.

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

Statistics for laugh

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for laugh

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!