ris·​i·​ble | \ ˈri-zə-bəl How to pronounce risible (audio) \

Definition of risible

1a : capable of laughing
b : disposed to laugh
2 : arousing or provoking laughter especially : laughable
3 : associated with, relating to, or used in laughter risible muscles

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from risible

risibly \ ˈri-​zə-​blē How to pronounce risibly (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

If someone makes a ridiculous remark about your risible muscles, he or she is not necessarily deriding your physique. Risible can also mean "associated with laughter," so risible muscles can simply be the ones used for laughing. (You've also got a set of risorius muscles around your mouth that help you smile.) Next time you find something laughable, tip your hat to ridēre, the Latin verb meaning "to laugh" that gave us risible (and ridiculous and deride, by the way).

Examples of risible in a Sentence

The suggestion was downright risible. a risible comment that made the whole class laugh

Recent Examples on the Web

That contention was dismissed as risible by NBC insiders. Brian Flood, Fox News, "NBC honchos hope to replace embattled news boss Andy Lack after multiple scandals," 14 May 2018 Interspersed with these put-downs are risible, often mystifying passages in which Ortese pontificates on class, politics and the afflictions of Naples and southern Italy. Ben Downing, WSJ, "‘Neapolitan Chronicles’ Review: Naples Painted Black," 6 Apr. 2018 What might have caught Trump’s eye, besides the ratings, is one of those risible self-promotional stories in which ABC claims to have had the genius idea to revive Roseanne as a morning-after response to Trump’s election. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Only Knows Chaos," 5 Apr. 2018 The Dutch police impounded the white rides on the risible grounds that they were unlocked (which, of course, was the point). Logan Jenkins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Great bike bloom is a performance art form," 5 Apr. 2018 Just one month after his risible Death Wish remake pancaked, we've been handed the trailer for his new... kid's horror movie starring Jack Black? Tom Philip, GQ, "Eli Roth Made a Horror Movie... For Kids?," 27 Mar. 2018 The demand that China cut its trade surplus by $100bn is, in a technical sense, risible. The Economist, "A lose-lose trade war looms between America and China," 15 Mar. 2018 Despite Judge William Alsup’s risible ruling (likely to be overturned soon by the Supreme Court), DACAs have no legal right to that status. Mark Krikorian, National Review, "DACA or DACA-Plus?," 12 Feb. 2018 Only via a risible script contrivance does Paul's crime spree eventually point him toward those killers. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Death Wish': Film Review," 2 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of risible

1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for risible

Late Latin risibilis, from Latin risus, past participle of ridēre to laugh

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about risible

Listen to Our Podcast about risible

Statistics for risible

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for risible

The first known use of risible was in 1557

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for risible



English Language Learners Definition of risible

formal + disapproving : deserving to be laughed at : very silly or unreasonable

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on risible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with risible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for risible

Spanish Central: Translation of risible

Comments on risible

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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