a person who is given to witticisms, jokes, and pranks.
a professional fool or clown, especially at a medieval court.

Nearby words

  1. jesselton,
  2. jessica,
  3. jessie,
  4. jest,
  5. jestbook,
  6. jesu,
  7. jesuit,
  8. jesuit ware,
  9. jesuit's bark,
  10. jesuitical

Origin of jester

First recorded in 1325–75, jester is from the Middle English word gester. See gest, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jester

British Dictionary definitions for jester



a professional clown employed by a king or nobleman, esp at courts during the Middle Ages
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 jester



mid-14c., jestour (Anglo-Latin), late 14c., gestour "a minstrel, professional reciter of romances," agent noun from gesten "recite a tale," which was a jester's original function (see jest). Sense of "buffoon in a prince's court" is from c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper