\ ˈlaf How to pronounce laugh (audio) , ˈläf \
laughed; laughing; laughs

Definition of laugh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to show emotion (such as mirth, joy, or scorn) with a chuckle or explosive vocal sound The audience was laughing hysterically.
b : to find amusement or pleasure in something laughed at his own clumsiness
c : to become amused or derisive a very skeptical public laughed at our early efforts— Graenum Berger
2a : to produce the sound or appearance of laughter a laughing brook
b : to be of a kind that inspires joy the blue sky of Autumn laughs above— Amy Lowell

transitive verb

1 : to influence or move by laughter laughed the bad singer off the stage
2 : to utter with a laugh laughs her consent



Definition of laugh (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of laughing
2a : a cause for derision or merriment : joke
b : an expression of scorn or mockery : jeer
3 laughs plural : diversion, sport play baseball just for laughs

Other Words from laugh


laughingly \ ˈla-​fiŋ-​lē How to pronounce laugh (audio) , ˈlä-​ \ adverb

Examples of laugh in a Sentence

Verb What are you laughing about? The audience was laughing hysterically. I've never laughed so hard in my life. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw what he was wearing. I laughed out loud when I saw him. He laughed so hard I thought he'd die laughing. The movie was hilarious. We laughed our heads off. “I've never seen anything so ridiculous,” he laughed. Noun He gave a loud laugh. a joke that always gets a big laugh The movie has a lot of laughs. You're going to be a movie star? That's a laugh. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Making your audience laugh or share your post doesn’t build authority. Paul Getter, Forbes, 15 June 2022 Shatner recalled his trajectory from being a 6-year-old cut-up in Montreal who enjoyed making people laugh, to his time in repertory theater in Ottawa and Toronto to his entry into TV and movies. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 3 June 2022 This one, amid the whimsical setting and laugh-out-loud humor, is a tear-jerker with an emotional happy ending. Ali Hazelwood, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 And — again, no spoilers — Suzie has a line that is genuinely laugh-out-loud hilarious. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 May 2022 The thought of making people laugh for a living was such a wild dream. Michael Tyrone Delaney, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2022 This man has been making people laugh for half a century. Dave Quinn,, 14 Apr. 2022 Though Eugenio Derbez is no stranger to the big screen, American audiences are still getting to know the Mexican star who has been making Mexico and Latin America laugh for nearly 40 years. Yolanda Machado,, 14 Apr. 2022 But unlike the many debunkers, explainers, and self-promotional plastic surgeons who populate the platform, Flanary’s primary concern is with making people laugh. Damian Garde, STAT, 25 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And of course the premise of the show was not to let people off the hook with a laugh. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 June 2022 Every category of food is introduced with a history lesson, a laugh, and all the information needed to truly appreciate the individual dishes and the holiday as a whole. Essence, 2 June 2022 Shoates said that ever since she's known him, Edwards has always sported a robust laugh, a goofy side that loves comics and superheroes and earnest generosity. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 May 2022 Graham Ashcraft broke into a smile and a laugh when manager David Bell walked to the mound to remove him in the seventh inning. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 28 May 2022 Kamann said one of her favorite parts of working so closely with Queen was his laugh. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 27 Apr. 2022 For your love, your laugh, your smile, and for our enduring friendship. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Apr. 2022 His smile was breathtaking and his laugh was infectious. Tristan Balagtas,, 20 Apr. 2022 Mike Vecchione at Hilarities Get your laugh on with Mike Vecchione, an Italian-American comedian known for his rapid-fire delivery. cleveland, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of laugh


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for laugh

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English hliehhan; akin to Old High German lachēn to laugh

Learn More About laugh

Time Traveler for laugh

Time Traveler

The first known use of laugh was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near laugh

Laue spot



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for laugh

Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Laugh.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for laugh


\ ˈlaf How to pronounce laugh (audio) , ˈläf \
laughed; laughing

Kids Definition of laugh

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to show amusement, joy, or scorn by smiling and making sounds (as chuckling) in the throat



Kids Definition of laugh (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or sound of laughing

More from Merriam-Webster on laugh

Nglish: Translation of laugh for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laugh for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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