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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun humor differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of humor are irony, repartee, sarcasm, satire, and wit. While all these words mean "a mode of expression intended to arouse amusement," humor implies an ability to perceive the ludicrous, the comical, and the absurd in human life and to express these usually without bitterness.

a sense of humor

When could irony be used to replace humor?

While in some cases nearly identical to humor, irony applies to a manner of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is seemingly expressed.

the irony of the title

When might repartee be a better fit than humor?

The words repartee and humor can be used in similar contexts, but repartee implies the power of answering quickly, pointedly, or wittily.

a dinner guest noted for repartee

Where would sarcasm be a reasonable alternative to humor?

Although the words sarcasm and humor have much in common, sarcasm applies to expression frequently in the form of irony that is intended to cut or wound.

given to heartless sarcasm

In what contexts can satire take the place of humor?

The synonyms satire and humor are sometimes interchangeable, but satire applies to writing that exposes or ridicules conduct, doctrines, or institutions either by direct criticism or more often through irony, parody, or caricature.

a satire on the Congress

When can wit be used instead of humor?

The meanings of wit and humor largely overlap; however, wit suggests the power to evoke laughter by remarks showing verbal felicity or ingenuity and swift perception especially of the incongruous.

a playful wit

Thesaurus Entries Near humor

Cite this Entry

“Humor.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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