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

Examples of ridiculous in a Sentence

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps the most ridiculous example of this confusion is Showtime’s The Curse, the Nathan Fielder-Benny Safdie-Emma Stone team-up seemingly built to defy categorization. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 3 July 2024 But Oh, Mary! is Escola’s most personal — and perhaps most ridiculous — project to date. Naveen Kumar, Them, 2 July 2024 The fact that this was brought to trial is ridiculous. Brie Stimson, Fox News, 29 June 2024 But screenwriter Carrie Solomon comes at them with the wry fondness of an insider who knows just how ridiculous her industry can be. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for ridiculous 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ridiculous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 12 Jul. 2024.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!