Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kom-ik] /ˈkɒm ɪk/
of, relating to, or characterized by comedy:
comic opera.
of or relating to a person who acts in or writes comedy:
a comic actor; a comic dramatist.
of, relating to, or characteristic of comedy:
comic situations; a comic sense.
provoking laughter; humorous; funny; laughable.
a comedian.
comics, comic strips.
the comic, the element or quality of comedy in literature, art, drama, etc.:
An appreciation of the comic came naturally to her.
Origin of comic
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin cōmicus < Greek kōmikós, equivalent to kôm(os) a revel + -ikos -ic
Related forms
noncomic, adjective, noun
quasi-comic, adjective
semicomic, adjective
uncomic, adjective
Can be confused
comedic, comic, comical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for semi-comic
Historical Examples
  • "I'm a trifle that way inclined, ma'm," he replied, with a semi-comic expression.

    The Bunsby papers John Brougham
  • Now began one of these semi-comic, semi-serious adventures which seem to dog my footsteps.

  • Already you have a semi-comic "gold-cure" for alcoholism, and you have heard of the geophagism of certain African tribes.

    Prince Zaleski M.P. Shiel
  • The City Madam is an extraordinarily spirited picture of actual life, idealized into a semi-comic strain of poetry.

  • And this apparent preparation for a semi-comic, semi-pitiful benediction sent his hands suddenly to his knees.

    The Woman With The Fan Robert Hichens
  • One of the squads in the Green Park was supremely interesting to me one day, in (I am bound to say) a semi-comic way.

    An Autobiography Elizabeth Butler
British Dictionary definitions for semi-comic


of, relating to, characterized by, or characteristic of comedy
(prenominal) acting in, writing, or composing comedy: a comic writer
humorous; funny
a person who is comic, esp a comic actor; comedian
a book or magazine containing comic strips
(usually pl) (mainly US & Canadian) comic strips in newspapers, etc
Word Origin
C16: from Latin cōmicus, from Greek kōmikos relating to comedy
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for semi-comic



late 14c., "of comedy in the dramatic sense," from Latin comicus "of comedy, represented in comedy, in comic style," from Greek komikos "of or pertaining to comedy," from komos (see comedy). Meaning "intentionally funny" first recorded 1791, and comedic (1630s) has since picked up the older sense of the word.

Speaking of the masters of the comedic spirit (if I call it, as he does, the Comic Spirit, this darkened generation will suppose me to refer to the animal spirits of tomfools and merryandrews) .... [G.B. Shaw, 1897]
Something that is comic has comedy as its aim or origin; something is comical if the effect is comedy, whether intended or not.



"a comedian" is from 1580s, from comic (adj.). Latin adjective comicus also meant "a comic poet, writer of comedies." Meaning "a comic book or comic strip" is from 1889 (Comic strip first attested 1920; comic book is from 1941). Comic relief is attested from 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for semi-comic

Word Value for semi

Scrabble Words With Friends