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90s Slang You Should Know


[guh-faw, guh-] /gʌˈfɔ, gə-/
a loud, unrestrained burst of laughter.
verb (used without object)
to laugh loudly and boisterously.
Origin of guffaw
First recorded in 1710-20; perhaps imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for guffaw
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the two first times Tom smiled suspiciously—at the last he burst out into an absolute “guffaw.”

    Humorous Ghost Stories Dorothy Scarborough
  • A tremendous shout from one end of the ship to the other stopped his guffaw.

  • There was a nervous ring in the guffaw which concluded his question.

    Unleavened Bread Robert Grant
  • “Old Taffs started a cigar-case,” said Dick, bursting into a guffaw.

    Menhardoc George Manville Fenn
  • The Parnass took snuff, and his sneeze sounded like a guffaw.

    Ghetto Comedies Israel Zangwill
  • It came, she seized it with some audacity, and the old gentleman's guffaw acknowledged her.

    Yonder Emily Hilda Young
  • Fletcher took the gander with a guffaw, the old crone chuckled, and the young men laughed as they mounted their horses.

British Dictionary definitions for guffaw


a crude and boisterous laugh
to laugh crudely and boisterously or express (something) in this way
Word Origin
C18: of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for guffaw

1720, Scottish, probably imitative of the sound of coarse laughter. Cf. gawf (early 16c.) "loud, noisy laugh." The verb is from 1721. Related: Guffawed; guffawing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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