- something said or done to provoke laughter or cause amusement, as a witticism, a short and amusing anecdote, or a prankish act: He tells very funny jokes. She played a joke on him.
- something that is amusing or ridiculous, especially because of being ludicrously inadequate or a sham; a thing, situation, or person laughed at rather than taken seriously; farce: Their pretense of generosity is a joke. An officer with no ability to command is a joke.
- a matter that need not be taken very seriously; trifling matter: The loss was no joke.
- something that does not present the expected challenge; something very easy: The test was a joke for the whole class.
- practical joke.
- to speak or act in a playful or merry way: He was always joking with us.
- to say something in fun or teasing rather than in earnest; be facetious: He didn't really mean it, he was only joking.
- to subject to jokes; make fun of; tease.
- to obtain by joking: The comedian joked coins from the audience.
Origin of joke
SynonymsSee more synonyms for joke on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for joke
And that was well before this Christmas, when he appeared to joke about Obama being a Muslim.How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll
December 31, 2014
Within a concentration camp, would someone make a joke about the number, the tattooed number?Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination
December 26, 2014
Anyone willing to threaten war over a joke is clearly not playing with a full deck.The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror
December 19, 2014
Fortunately, Martin was a good sport about the game, even if there was a joke about the Red Wedding.Amy Poehler and George R.R. Martin Play Game of ‘Game of Thrones’
October 29, 2014
Have you heard the joke by Iraqi Kurds about ISIS fighters milking male goats?Middle East Goes Monty Python on ISIS
October 29, 2014
As it can be "no joke" to them, perhaps it should be no joke to us: though, on reflection, we are not so very like.
At first you kept on wondering what the joke was, till you saw it was only a habit Sarah had.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
"It was no tiger at all—that was the joke of the thing," said the major.Weighed and Wanting
Then he seemed to consider it best to treat my natural disappointment as a joke.The Bacillus of Beauty
"Sit it, you mean," said young Bartlett, laughing with the others at his own joke.In the Midst of Alarms
- a humorous anecdote
- something that is said or done for fun; prank
- a ridiculous or humorous circumstance
- a person or thing inspiring ridicule or amusement; butt
- a matter to be joked about or ignored
- joking apart seriously: said to recall a discussion to seriousness after there has been joking
- no joke something very serious
- (intr) to tell jokes
- (intr) to speak or act facetiously or in fun
- to make fun of (someone); tease; kid
Word Origin and History for joke
1660s, joque, "a jest, something done to excite laughter," from Latin iocus "joke, sport, pastime," from PIE root *yek- "to speak" (cf. Breton iez "language," Old High German jehan "to say," German Beichte "confession").
Originally a colloquial or slang word. Meaning "something not to be taken seriously" is 1791. Practical joke "trick played on someone for the sake of a laugh at his expense" is from 1804 (earlier handicraft joke, 1741). Black joke is old slang for "smutty song" (1730s), from use of that phrase in the refrain of a then-popular song as a euphemism for "the monosyllable."
1660s, "to make a joke," from Latin iocari "to jest, joke," from iocus (see joke (n.)). Related: Joked; joking.
Idioms and Phrases with joke
see crack a joke; dirty joke; no joke; sick joke; standing joke; take a joke.