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

And laughter is there, aptly enough, in the book that shaped this weekend’s news cycle. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "How Brett Kavanaugh Got the Last Laugh," 17 Sep. 2019 But there were also moments of laughter at political in-jokes about the county and city getting along and the contentious building of a music venue at The Banks. Sharon Coolidge,, "'My cancer has spread.' Todd Portune announces retirement after quarter-century in local politics," 12 Sep. 2019 For the Batek people of the Malaysian peninsula rainforest, laughter can be dangerous. Alice Rudge, Quartz, "Why we laugh when we know we shouldn’t," 28 Aug. 2019 This season, deck the halls with boughs of holly—and bouts of laughter! Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "60 Best Christmas Puns That Yule Be Laughing at All Season Long," 27 Aug. 2019 Some bent down, nose-to-nose with the dogs in a moment of laughter. Los Angeles Times, "These police dogs are trained to help survivors. They’re not here for the bad guys," 22 July 2019 After spending three days with each other, the members had grown more familiar, and fits of laughter occurred throughout the ride. Katrina Pross, Twin Cities, "Diabetics from Minnesota make trek to Canada in search of affordable insulin," 7 July 2019 The sound of women’s laughter and squealing children fills the kitchen as masa is spread across corn husks, a dollop of meat in the center, the little package rolled, sealed, and steamed. Emma Schwartz, Bon Appétit, "How a Prison Cooking Show Connects Residents to Life Outside," 2 July 2019 They were soon joined by two other longtime activists and RIC members: Allan Armstrong, whose deep voice emphasized his thick Scottish accent, and Pat Smith, a woman with chin-length silver hair and a warm demeanor that easily turned to laughter. Rebecca Nathanson, Harper's magazine, "English Referendums and Scotch Voters," 19 June 2019

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 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce laughter (audio) , 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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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