[ kom-i-dee ]
See synonyms for comedy on
noun,plural com·e·dies.
  1. a play, movie, etc., of light and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending; a dramatic work in which the central motif is the triumph over adverse circumstance, resulting in a successful or happy conclusion.

  2. that branch of the drama which concerns itself with this form of composition.

  1. the comic element of drama, of literature generally, or of life.

  2. any literary composition dealing with a theme suitable for comedy, or employing the methods of comedy.

  3. any comic or humorous incident or series of incidents.

Origin of comedy

1350–1400; Middle English comedye<Medieval Latin cōmēdia,Latin cōmoedia<Greek kōmōidía, equivalent to kōmōid(ós) comedian (kômo(s) merry-making + aoidós singer) + -ia-y3

Other words for comedy

Other words from comedy

  • co·me·di·al [kuh-mee-dee-uhl], /kəˈmi di əl/, adjective
  • pro·com·e·dy, adjective

Words Nearby comedy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use comedy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for comedy


/ (ˈkɒmɪdɪ) /

nounplural -dies
  1. a dramatic or other work of light and amusing character

  2. the genre of drama represented by works of this type

  1. (in classical literature) a play in which the main characters and motive triumph over adversity

  2. the humorous aspect of life or of events

  3. an amusing event or sequence of events

  4. humour or comic style: the comedy of Chaplin

Origin of comedy

C14: from Old French comédie, from Latin cōmoedia, from Greek kōmōidia, from kōmos village festival + aeidein to sing

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

Cultural definitions for comedy


A work — play, story, novel, or film — that ends happily for the main character (or protagonist) and contains humor to some degree. A comedy may involve unhappy outcomes for some of the characters. Shylock, for example, in The Merchant of Venice, a comedy by William Shakespeare, is disgraced in the play. The ancient Greeks and Romans produced comedies, and great numbers have been written in modern times.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.