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[jes-ter] /ˈdʒɛs tər/
a person who is given to witticisms, jokes, and pranks.
a professional fool or clown, especially at a medieval court.
Origin of jester
First recorded in 1325-75, jester is from the Middle English word gester. See gest, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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.

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

    The Symposium Xenophon
  • When the jester had left them to go upon his errand, Francesco turned to his companion.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • This being determined, they departed, leaving the Count in the company of the jester.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • And as he rode he told them what the jester's quick intuition had already whispered to him.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • Or if there is a despot, 'tis the king's jester, who laughs at the king as well as all his subjects.

British Dictionary definitions for jester


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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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