[ johk ]
See synonyms for: jokejokedjokesjoking on

  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.

  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.

  1. a matter that need not be taken very seriously; trifling matter: The loss was no joke.

  2. 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.

Origin of joke

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

synonym study For joke

1. 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.

Other words for joke

Other words from joke

  • jokeless, adjective
  • jok·ing·ly, adverb
  • half-joking, adjective
  • half-jok·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·jok·ing, adjective
  • un·jok·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use joke in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for joke


/ (dʒəʊk) /

  1. a humorous anecdote

  2. something that is said or done for fun; prank

  1. a ridiculous or humorous circumstance

  2. a person or thing inspiring ridicule or amusement; butt

  3. a matter to be joked about or ignored

  4. joking apart seriously: said to recall a discussion to seriousness after there has been joking

  5. no joke something very serious

  1. (intr) to tell jokes

  2. (intr) to speak or act facetiously or in fun

  1. to make fun of (someone); tease; kid

Origin of joke

C17: from Latin jocus a jest

Derived forms of joke

  • jokingly, adverb

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with joke


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

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