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jester

[jes-ter]
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noun
  1. a person who is given to witticisms, jokes, and pranks.
  2. a professional fool or clown, especially at a medieval court.
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Origin of jester

First recorded in 1325–75, jester is from the Middle English word gester. See gest, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jester

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • “I mean a man sad and grave as the monks of Beaulieu,” said the jester.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • My poor boy, he who is sitting in sackcloth and ashes needs no jester.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • I was just a jester and no more, and so, in a measure—though I blush to say it—I grew content.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Yes (replied the jester), he has a striking likeness to that person and a heap of others.

  • Come on (the jester shouted), give us a tune upon the pipe, and let me show you how to dance.


British Dictionary definitions for jester

jester

noun
  1. a professional clown employed by a king or nobleman, esp at courts during the Middle Ages
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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

Word Origin and History for jester

n.

mid-14c., jestour (Anglo-Latin), late 14c., gestour "a minstrel, professional reciter of romances," agent noun from gesten "recite a tale," which was a jester's original function (see jest). Sense of "buffoon in a prince's court" is from c.1500.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper