Synonyms & Antonyms of jest

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 an attitude or manner not to be taken seriously
  • you should know that our teasing was done entirely in jest

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Antonyms for jest

2 something said or done to cause laughter
  • laughed politely at his feeble jest about his pet mosquito

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3 a playful or mischievous act intended as a joke
  • putting a mouse in her desk drawer was intended to be a harmless jest

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4 a person or thing that is made fun of
  • his outlandish costumes made him the jest of the town

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Synonyms of jest (Entry 2 of 2)

to make jokes
  • when I asked my sister for a loan, she laughingly replied, "Surely you jest!"

Synonyms for jest

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Frequently Asked Questions About jest

How does the noun jest differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of jest are fun, game, play, and sport. While all these words mean "action or speech that provides amusement or arouses laughter," jest implies lack of earnestness and may suggest a hoaxing or teasing.

hurt by remarks said only in jest

In what contexts can fun take the place of jest?

Although the words fun and jest have much in common, fun usually implies laughter or gaiety but may imply merely a lack of serious or ulterior purpose.

played cards just for fun

How are the words game and sport related as synonyms of jest?

Game is close to sport, and often stresses mischievous or malicious fun.

made game of their poor relations

When is it sensible to use play instead of jest?

The words play and jest can be used in similar contexts, but play stresses the opposition to earnest without implying any malice or mischief.

pretended to strangle his brother in play

When could sport be used to replace jest?

The words sport and jest are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sport applies especially to the arousing of laughter against someone.

teasing begun in sport led to anger

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Time Traveler for jest

Time Traveler

The first known use of jest was circa 1548

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Cite this Entry

“Jest.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on jest

Nglish: Translation of jest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jest for Arabic Speakers


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