laugh·​ter | \ ˈlaf-tər How to pronounce laughter (audio) , ˈläf- \

Definition of laughter

1 : a sound of or as if of laughing
2 archaic : a cause of merriment

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Examples of laughter in a Sentence

The audience roared with laughter. the nervous producers were reassured by the sounds of laughter coming from the theater
Recent Examples on the Web The camera captured smiles and laughter – the faint promise of hope. Joan Gaylord, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Dog Flowers’ traces a mother’s struggle and a daughter’s hope," 5 Feb. 2021 Not love or peace or companionship or trust or laughter or long walks on the beach. Chris Murphy, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Surprise, Surprise," 4 Jan. 2021 To spark the release of tension that produces laughter, the comedian must first create that tension. John Roy, Vulture, "Nick Vatterott’s Late-Night Debut Brilliantly Tests the Audience’s Comfort," 2 Feb. 2021 The Office workplace comedies, with efforts wasted on wringing laughter out of dreary meetings and coffee runs. Emma Specter, Vogue, "‘Call My Agent!’ Is the Best Netflix Show You’re Probably Not Watching," 25 Jan. 2021 The couples stopped midway for a friendly chat punctuated by laughter. New York Times, "For Kamala Harris, an Influential Voice and a Decisive Vote," 20 Jan. 2021 A few minutes later the Saints shared the result, along with cheers and laughter. Jeff Nowak,, "Sean Payton slimed: Watch Saints coach follow through on promise after Nickelodeon game," 10 Jan. 2021 But more than that, Harrison realized that the anxiety of performing online in 2020 was more deeply-rooted than just having to endure delivering jokes to a silent crowd—or worse, to a solitary livestream host forcing polite laughter. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, "No One Does It Like Patti Harrison," 31 Dec. 2020 There are always things to be thankful for: deer in the snow, soothing music, a child’s laughter or a stunning red cardinal. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Tips for mental health," 26 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'laughter.' 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 laughter

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

History and Etymology for laughter

Middle English, from Old English hleahtor; akin to Old English hliehhan

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Time Traveler for laughter

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for laughter

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Laughter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for laughter



English Language Learners Definition of laughter

: the action or sound of laughing


laugh·​ter | \ ˈlaf-tər How to pronounce laughter (audio) , ˈläf- \

Kids Definition of laughter

: the action or sound of laughing

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Comments on laughter

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