[ jest ]
See synonyms for: jestjesting on

  1. a joke or witty remark; witticism.

  2. a bantering remark; a piece of good-natured ridicule; taunt.

  1. sport or fun: to speak half in jest, half in earnest.

  2. the object of laughter, sport, or mockery; laughing-stock.

  3. Obsolete. an exploit.: Compare gest.

verb (used without object)
  1. to speak in a playful, humorous, or facetious way; joke.

  2. to speak or act in mere sport, rather than in earnest; trifle (often followed by with): Please don't jest with me.

  1. to utter derisive speeches; gibe or scoff.

verb (used with object)
  1. to deride or joke at; banter.

Origin of jest

1250–1300; Middle English; variant spelling of gest

synonym study For jest

1. See joke.

Other words for jest

Other words from jest

  • jestful, adjective
  • jest·ing·ly, adverb
  • outjest, verb (used with object)
  • un·jest·ing, adjective
  • un·jest·ing·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with jest

Words Nearby jest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use jest in a sentence

  • Rawcus has to provide a solid argument in his rhetoric to make such an accusation, even in jest.

  • And this explosion was fictional and in jest, so you can call it a pretty big hoot!

  • It may have been said in jest, but a legion of Hollywood actresses would have nodded ruefully in unison.

    Why Meryl Is So Special | Tim Teeman | January 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • I've tried to teach lots of folks; an' sum learns quick, an' some don't never learn; it's jest 's 't strikes 'em.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • I allow we shan't never set eyes on ter her, Jos. I've got jest thet feelin' abaout it.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • I never see sech hosses; 'n' they're jest like kittens; they've ben drefful pets, I allow.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • I ain't a gwine ter back daown naow; but I dew jest wish Jeff Hyer wuz along.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • But I allow they'd flatten us all aout in jest abaout a minnit, if they wuz to set aout tew!

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson

British Dictionary definitions for jest


/ (dʒɛst) /

  1. something done or said for amusement; joke

  2. a frivolous mood or attitude; playfulness; fun: to act in jest

  1. a jeer or taunt

  2. an object of derision; laughing stock; butt

  1. to act or speak in an amusing, teasing, or frivolous way; joke

  2. to make fun of (a person or thing); scoff or mock

Origin of jest

C13: variant of gest

Derived forms of jest

  • jestful, adjective
  • jesting, adjective, noun
  • jestingly, adverb

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