[ joh-ker ]
/ ˈdʒoʊ kər /


Nearby words

  1. joist,
  2. jojoba,
  3. jokai,
  4. joke,
  5. jokebook,
  6. jokester,
  7. jokey,
  8. joking,
  9. jokingly,
  10. jokjakarta

Origin of joker

First recorded in 1720–30; joke + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for joker

British Dictionary definitions for joker


/ (ˈdʒəʊkə) /


a person who jokes, esp in an obnoxious manner
slang, often derogatory a personwho does that joker think he is?
an extra playing card in a pack, which in many card games can substitute for or rank above any other card
mainly US a clause or phrase inserted in a legislative bill in order to make the bill inoperative or to alter its apparent effect
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 joker



1729, "jester, merry fellow," agent noun from joke (v.). In generic slang use for "any man, fellow, chap" by 1811, which probably is the source of the meaning "odd face card in the deck" (1868). An 1857 edition of Hoyle's "Games" lists a card game called Black Joke in which all face cards were called jokers.

American manufacturers of playing-cards are wont to include a blank card at the top of the pack; and it is, alas! true that some thrifty person suggested that the card should not be wasted. This was the origin of the joker. ["St. James's Gazette," 1894]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper