[kuh-mee-dee-uh n]
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  1. a professional entertainer who amuses by relating anecdotes, acting out comical situations, engaging in humorous repartee, etc.
  2. an actor in comedy.
  3. a writer of comedy.
  4. any comical or amusing person.

Origin of comedian

1575–85; < Middle French comediain; see comedy, -ian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for comedian


  1. an entertainer who specializes in jokes, comic skits, etc
  2. an actor in comedy
  3. an amusing or entertaining person: sometimes used ironically
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 comedian

1580s, "comic poet," later (c.1600) "stage actor in comedies," also, generally, "actor," from Middle French comédien, from comédie (see comedy). Meaning "professional joke-teller, etc." is from 1898.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper