noun, plural com·e·dies.
Origin of comedy
Examples from the Web for comedy
This is comedy based on a cold humor, detached, euphemistic, devoid of any generosity.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Was that a transitional moment for you from music to comedy?Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness|Marlow Stern|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
You write a lot about how you were a jerk or a snob when it came to comedy or film.
The memoir follows Oswalt from 1995 to 1999 as he was starting out on his comedy career in Los Angeles.
Or how kicking a reaction-less eunuch in the crotch over and over again is comedy.
Now, we cannot but agree with the Puritans, that adultery is not a subject for comedy at all.Plays and Puritans|Charles Kingsley
Comedy is the title which Dante gives to his trilogy and posterity has added the prefix adjective divine.Dante: "The Central Man of All the World"|John T. Slattery
John Lyly, writing for these choir boys, developed this type of entertainment into a distinct Lyly and Greenespecies of comedy.The Facts About Shakespeare|William Allan Nielson
Nor is it a comedy of character, bristling with smart sayings—everybody saying clever, ill-natured things about everybody else.Miser Farebrother, Volume I (of 3)|Benjamin Leopold Farjeon
The comedy was suffered to go on, and is to this hour a stock play at Drury Lane Theatre.Beaux and Belles of England|Mary Robinson
British Dictionary definitions for comedy
noun plural -dies
Word Origin for comedy
Word Origin and History for comedy
late 14c., from Old French comedie (14c., "a poem," not in the theatrical sense), from Latin comoedia, from Greek komoidia "a comedy, amusing spectacle," probably from komodios "actor or singer in the revels," from komos "revel, carousal, merry-making, festival," + aoidos "singer, poet," from aeidein "to sing," related to oide (see ode).
The passage on the nature of comedy in the Poetic of Aristotle is unfortunately lost, but if we can trust stray hints on the subject, his definition of comedy (which applied mainly to Menander) ran parallel to that of tragedy, and described the art as a purification of certain affections of our nature, not by terror and pity, but by laughter and ridicule. [Rev. J.P. Mahaffy, "A History of Classical Greek Literature," London, 1895]
The classical sense of the word, then, was "amusing play or performance," which is similar to the modern one, but in the Middle Ages the word came to mean poems and stories generally (albeit ones with happy endings), and the earliest English sense is "narrative poem" (e.g. Dante's "Commedia"). Generalized sense of "quality of being amusing" dates from 1877.
Comedy aims at entertaining by the fidelity with which it presents life as we know it, farce at raising laughter by the outrageous absurdity of the situation or characters exhibited, & burlesque at tickling the fancy of the audience by caricaturing plays or actors with whose style it is familiar. [Fowler]
Culture 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.