View synonyms for joke


[ johk ]


  1. 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.

    Synonyms: raillery, sally, quirk, quip, prank, jape, gag, wisecrack

  2. 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.

  3. a matter that need not be taken very seriously; trifling matter:

    The loss was no joke.

  4. something that does not present the expected challenge; something very easy:

    The test was a joke for the whole class.

verb (used without object)

, joked, jok·ing.
  1. to speak or act in a playful or merry way:

    He was always joking with us.

  2. to say something in fun or teasing rather than in earnest; be facetious:

    He didn't really mean it, he was only joking.

verb (used with object)

, joked, jok·ing.
  1. to subject to jokes; make fun of; tease.
  2. to obtain by joking:

    The comedian joked coins from the audience.


/ dʒəʊk /


  1. a humorous anecdote
  2. something that is said or done for fun; prank
  3. a ridiculous or humorous circumstance
  4. a person or thing inspiring ridicule or amusement; butt
  5. a matter to be joked about or ignored
  6. joking apart
    seriously: said to recall a discussion to seriousness after there has been joking
  7. no joke
    something very serious


  1. intr to tell jokes
  2. intr to speak or act facetiously or in fun
  3. to make fun of (someone); tease; kid

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Derived Forms

  • ˈjokingly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • jokeless adjective
  • joking·ly adverb
  • half-joking adjective
  • half-joking·ly adverb
  • un·joking adjective
  • un·joking·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of joke1

First recorded in 1660–70, joke is from the Latin word jocus “jest”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of joke1

C17: from Latin jocus a jest

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Idioms and Phrases

see crack a joke ; dirty joke ; no joke ; sick joke ; standing joke ; take a joke .

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Synonym Study

Joke, jest refer to something said (or done) in sport, or to cause amusement. A joke is something said or done for the sake of exciting laughter; it may be raillery, a witty remark, or a prank or trick: to tell a joke. Jest, today a more formal word, nearly always refers to joking language and is more suggestive of scoffing or ridicule than is joke : to speak in jest.

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Example Sentences

So, no, I might’ve said something slick, but I wasn’t cracking jokes all day, I don’t think.

From Ozy

Almost a decade ago, my step-siblings bought a pair for me and my partner as a joke.

From Eater

“I do the standard eyeroll and the older the joke the bigger the eyeroll,” Monica wrote.

Save any top secrets, dirty jokes or spoiler alerts for somewhere else.

“We just drug around there and told jokes all the way down,” he said.

Policemen on the show joke about prison riots, bomb threats, and the shooting of unarmed civilians.

A running joke inside the tribe is that the group is like that club with a hundred people waiting outside to get in.

And that was well before this Christmas, when he appeared to joke about Obama being a Muslim.

Within a concentration camp, would someone make a joke about the number, the tattooed number?

Anyone willing to threaten war over a joke is clearly not playing with a full deck.

The patriarchal decree of the government was a good deal of a joke on the plains, anyway—except when you were caught defying it!

Mr. Crow was rocking back and forth on his perch, for a joke—on anybody except himself—always delighted him.

Well, thinks I, this is no joke sure, at this lick I'll have family enuff to do me in a few years.

"I don't think that's a very good joke," said the disappointed little boy.

The king, by way of joke, desired the earl to personate him, and ordered the petitioner to be admitted.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.