laugh·ter | \ ˈlaf-tər , 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

That’s when a group of Masons realized their society just wasn’t enough fun and formed a splinter group dedicated to laughter and good works. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "What’s behind ’60s-era paneling at El Korah Shrine? A ballroom’s worth of ’20s art.," 12 July 2018 An overflow crowd sought solace with laughter and funny memories and occasional sobs. David Mcfadden, Anchorage Daily News, "Suspect wrote he aimed to kill everyone at Maryland newsroom," 3 July 2018 An f-word or two slip in, as do a few breakdowns in laughter. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "A reunion with Futurama, because only one show used climactic math theorems," 10 June 2018 The May 20 meeting was held at a member's home in Bloomfield , where the living room quickly filled with laughter and conversation. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Sisterhood Of Salaam Shalom Brings Together Faiths," 29 May 2018 The room broke out in laughter, and on cue, Love was asked to diagnose the struggles of Cleveland's supporting cast. Andrew Sharp,, "What If LeBron Never Wins Another NBA Title?," 16 May 2018 In 2016, the mention of Ryan’s name caused Brownback to break out in laughter. Hunter Woodall And Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "When Sam Brownback thinks of Paul Ryan, he remembers the smell of deer urine | The Kansas City Star," 11 Apr. 2018 Terror and humor are not incompatible; fear often explodes in laughter. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "The Provocative Brilliance of The Death of Stalin," 29 Mar. 2018 Recently, people started complaining that Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa was bursting out in laughter at them—for no reason whatsoever. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "My Electronic Devices Are Laughing at Me," 22 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for laughter

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for laughter

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

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More Definitions for laughter



English Language Learners Definition of laughter

: the action or sound of laughing


laugh·ter | \ ˈlaf-tər , ˈläf- \

Kids Definition of laughter

: the action or sound of laughing

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Comments on laughter

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


the setting in which something occurs

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