verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to deride or joke at; banter.

Origin of jest

1250–1300; Middle English; variant spelling of gest
Related formsjest·ful, adjectivejest·ing·ly, adverbout·jest, verb (used with object)un·jest·ing, adjectiveun·jest·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedgist jest just

Synonyms for jest

1. quip. See joke. 2. jape, gibe. 4. butt. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jested

Historical Examples of jested

  • I jested with her about him, but she swore there was no lovemaking between them.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • "We'll use it for our jail to lock up the bad ones in," jested Dick.

  • She laughed and jested and made merry over her egg and toast.

    A Young Mutineer

    Mrs. L. T. Meade

  • Foma could hardly make out when Yozhov jested and when he was in earnest.

    Foma Gordyeff

    Maxim Gorky

  • And all the time he laughed and jested as though he were in the highest spirits.

    The Hero

    William Somerset Maugham

British Dictionary definitions for jested



something done or said for amusement; joke
a frivolous mood or attitude; playfulness; funto act in jest
a jeer or taunt
an object of derision; laughing stock; butt


to act or speak in an amusing, teasing, or frivolous way; joke
to make fun of (a person or thing); scoff or mock
Derived Formsjestful, adjectivejesting, adjective, nounjestingly, adverb

Word Origin for jest

C13: variant of gest
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 jested



early 13c., geste, "narrative of exploits," from Old French geste "action, exploit," from Latin gesta "deeds," neuter plural of gestus, past participle of gerere "to carry, behave, act, perform" (see gest). Sense descended through "idle tale" (late 15c.) to "mocking speech, raillery" (1540s) to "joke" (1550s).



1520s, "to speak in a trifling manner;" 1550s, "to joke," from Middle English gesten "recite a tale" (late 14c.), from geste (see jest (n.)). Sense of "to speak in a trifling manner" is from 1520s. Related: Jested; jesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper