hu·​mor·​ous ˈhyüm-rəs How to pronounce humorous (audio)
: full of or characterized by that quality which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous : full of or characterized by humor : funny
humorous stories
shared a humorous anecdote
: possessing, indicating, or expressive of an ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny : possessing, indicating, or expressive of a sense of humor
a humorous writer
studied his own life … with a shrewd and humorous eye Harrison Smith
obsolete : humid
humorously adverb
humorousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for humorous

witty, humorous, facetious, jocular, jocose mean provoking or intended to provoke laughter.

witty suggests cleverness and quickness of mind.

a witty remark

humorous applies broadly to anything that evokes usually genial laughter and may contrast with witty in suggesting whimsicality or eccentricity.

humorous anecdotes

facetious stresses a desire to produce laughter and may be derogatory in implying dubious or ill-timed attempts at wit or humor.

facetious comments

jocular implies a usually habitual fondness for jesting and joking.

a jocular fellow

jocose is somewhat less derogatory than facetious in suggesting habitual waggishness or playfulness.

jocose proposals

Example Sentences

The book is very humorous. the humorous moments in an otherwise somber affair
Recent Examples on the Web There are so many to choose from: huge ivory white pumpkins, tiny light orange pumpkins, round, jolly pumpkins, conical, humorous pumpkins. Nicole Bradley, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Nov. 2022 Trieschmann wrote a humorous essay for Slate about the comic mayhem of her experience. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 8 Nov. 2022 Those around him picked up on his humorous habits — specifically his style. Tyler Tachman, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Nov. 2022 But Ivo takes them in a totally humorous direction. Andrew Sessa, WSJ, 4 Nov. 2022 In addition to sharing some humorous anecdotes — including one about his late father, Prince Philip — Charles addressed the serious matter of climate change amid the record-breaking heatwave. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 4 Nov. 2022 Furthermore, self-deprecating humor—when a team leader points out their own weaknesses and mistakes in a humorous way—is an effective method of improving the relationships between the team leader and team members. Paul Glover, Forbes, 19 July 2022 The emotional journey of this book is variously sobering, uplifting, moving, but most notably humorous. Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2021 Short humorous stories, collected mostly from his previous books. Owen Thomas, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


see humor entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of humorous was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near humorous

Cite this Entry

“Humorous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



hu·​mor·​ous ˈhyüm-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce humorous (audio)
: full of, characterized by, or expressing humor : droll
a humorous story
humorously adverb
humorousness noun

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