[guh-faw, guh-]


a loud, unrestrained burst of laughter.

verb (used without object)

to laugh loudly and boisterously.

Origin of guffaw

First recorded in 1710–20; perhaps imitative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for guffaw

laughter, roar, shout, snort, shriek, howl, howling

Examples from the Web for guffaw

Contemporary Examples of guffaw

Historical Examples of guffaw

  • A tremendous shout from one end of the ship to the other stopped his guffaw.

  • That brought a guffaw from some of the youngsters, but Dick shook his head.

  • "I'm the Vicar's bottle-washer, you know," added the curate, with a guffaw.

    The Hero

    William Somerset Maugham

  • “Old Taffs started a cigar-case,” said Dick, bursting into a guffaw.


    George Manville Fenn

  • They laughed so loudly that Jim first smiled, then burst into a guffaw himself.

    Dorothy's Triumph

    Evelyn Raymond

British Dictionary definitions for guffaw



a crude and boisterous laugh


to laugh crudely and boisterously or express (something) in this way

Word Origin for guffaw

C18: of imitative origin
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 guffaw

1720, Scottish, probably imitative of the sound of coarse laughter. Cf. gawf (early 16c.) "loud, noisy laugh." The verb is from 1721. Related: Guffawed; guffawing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper