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laughter

[laf-ter, lahf-]
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noun
  1. the action or sound of laughing.
  2. an inner quality, mood, disposition, etc., suggestive of laughter; mirthfulness: a man of laughter and goodwill.
  3. an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement.
  4. Archaic. an object of laughter; subject or matter for amusement.
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Origin of laughter

before 900; Middle English; Old English hleahtor; cognate with Old High German hlahtar, Old Norse hlātr; see laugh
Related formslaugh·ter·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for laughter

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The laughter and talk were as little subdued as the scheme of the rooms.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The laughter at this sally was all it should have been, even the host joining in it.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The supposition was greeted with a great burst of laughter from Cornelius.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Cornelius was in fits of laughter, which he scarcely tried to choke.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • She never heard the end of the story, but was roused by the laughter that followed it.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for laughter

laughter

noun
  1. the action of or noise produced by laughing
  2. the experience or manifestation of mirth, amusement, scorn, or joy
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Word Origin

Old English hleahtor; related to Old Norse hlātr
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 laughter

n.

late 14c., from Old English hleahtor, from Proto-Germanic *hlahtraz (cf. Old Norse hlatr, Danish latter, Old High German lahtar, German Gelächter); see laugh (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper