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90s Slang You Should Know

practical joke

a playful trick, often involving some physical agent or means, in which the victim is placed in an embarrassing or disadvantageous position.
Origin of practical joke
First recorded in 1840-50
Related forms
practical joker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for practical joke
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The whole thing had been a practical joke, in which Frank had played a prominent part.

    Frank Merriwell's Reward Burt L. Standish
  • Or you would have seen that this paper was a practical joke.

  • Everything important is in that sense absurd from the grave baby to the grinning skull; everything practical is a practical joke.

    George Bernard Shaw Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • What a strange, vast, practical joke was that thing called life.

    The Sign of the Spider Bertram Mitford
  • We are all ready, I am sure, to make allowance for a gentleman who is suffering from the irritation of a practical joke.

    The Master of the Shell Talbot Baines Reed
  • Suppose it was a practical joke on the part of some of the members of the club?

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
British Dictionary definitions for practical joke

practical joke

a prank or trick usually intended to make the victim appear foolish
Derived Forms
practical joker, noun
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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