ri·​dic·​u·​lous rə-ˈdi-kyə-ləs How to pronounce ridiculous (audio)
: arousing or deserving ridicule : extremely silly or unreasonable : absurd, preposterous
ridiculousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for ridiculous

laughable, ludicrous, ridiculous, comic, comical mean provoking laughter or mirth.

laughable applies to anything occasioning laughter.

laughable attempts at skating

ludicrous suggests absurdity that excites both laughter and scorn.

a thriller with a ludicrous plot

ridiculous suggests extreme absurdity, foolishness, or contemptibility.

a ridiculous display of anger

comic applies especially to what arouses thoughtful amusement.

a comic character

comical applies to what arouses spontaneous hilarity.

a comical hat

Example Sentences

His band mates take the stage in ridiculous elf costumes—black tights, pointy felt hats. Jason Cohen, Rolling Stone, 23 Feb. 1995 I also poked fun at those ridiculous fins on the '59 Cadillac. The '60, now, that was something else, and I've thought highly enough of the design to have owned two of them. Marshall Schuon, New York Times, 30 June 1991 Take into account the artist's intention and choice of means. This sounds so elementary that it seems ridiculous to bring it up … Leonardo Shapiro, Village Voice, 27 Aug. 1991 It was absurd for him to paint portraits for pay, and ridiculous to paint them for nothing; so he did not paint them at all. William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham, 1885 She looks ridiculous in that outfit. It was a ridiculous suggestion. That's an absolutely ridiculous price for that sweater. See More
Recent Examples on the Web There’s descriptions in that script that are ridiculous. Yvonne Villarrealstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2022 To expect sports to act as some honorable exception while the rest of society is trying to make as much money as possible—regardless of the morality or long-term security of their countries—is ridiculous. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 19 Nov. 2022 The idea that people shouldn’t complain is ridiculous, too. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Nov. 2022 Their problems may be ridiculous and, consequently, make for great TV—the super-sized fifth season of Yellowstone premiered on Paramount yesterday—but all those superficial trappings of extreme wealth sure do look fun. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 14 Nov. 2022 Obviously Chloe led the way; 16 boards is ridiculous. Ben Steele, Journal Sentinel, 13 Nov. 2022 But here, Enola has a ridiculous amount of fun with the dynamic. Andy Meek, BGR, 16 Nov. 2022 That birdie on No. 12 was made possible after Harrington converted a ridiculous second shot over some tall trees. Todd Kelly, The Arizona Republic, 13 Nov. 2022 The Paramount+ show is a ridiculous drama that could become a wry comedy. Darren Franich, EW.com, 11 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ridiculous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin ridiculosus (from ridiculum jest, from neuter of ridiculus) or ridiculus, literally, laughable, from ridēre to laugh

First Known Use

1550, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ridiculous was in 1550

Dictionary Entries Near ridiculous

Cite this Entry

“Ridiculous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ridiculous. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



ri·​dic·​u·​lous rə-ˈdik-yə-ləs How to pronounce ridiculous (audio)
: causing or deserving ridicule : absurd, preposterous
ridiculously adverb
ridiculousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ridiculous

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