- to express mirth, pleasure, derision, or nervousness with an audible, vocal expulsion of air from the lungs that can range from a loud burst of sound to a series of quiet chuckles and is usually accompanied by characteristic facial and bodily movements.
- to experience the emotion so expressed: He laughed inwardly at the scene.
- to produce a sound resembling human laughter: A coyote laughed in the dark.
- to drive, put, bring, etc., by or with laughter (often followed by out, away, down, etc.): They laughed him out of town. We laughed away our troubles.
- to utter with laughter: He laughed his consent.
- the act or sound of laughing; laughter.
- an expression of mirth, derision, etc., by laughing.
- Informal. something that provokes laughter, amusement, or ridicule: After all the advance publicity, the prizefight turned out to be a laugh.
- laughs, Informal. fun; amusement.
- laugh at,
- to make fun of; deride; ridicule: They were laughing at him, not along with him.
- to be scornful of; reject: They stopped laughing at the unusual theory when it was found to be predictive.
- to find sympathetic amusement in; regard with humor: We can learn to laugh a little at even our most serious foibles.
- laugh off, to dismiss as ridiculous, trivial, or hollow: He had received threats but laughed them off as the work of a crank.
- have the last laugh, to prove ultimately successful after a seeming defeat or loss: She smiled slyly, because she knew she would yet have the last laugh on them.
- laugh it up, to laugh or joke in a hearty way: He was laughing it up with his friends.
- laugh out of court, to dismiss or depreciate by means of ridicule; totally scorn: His violent protests were laughed out of court by the others.
- laugh out of the other side of one's mouth, to undergo a chastening reversal, as of glee or satisfaction that is premature; be ultimately chagrined, punished, etc.; cry: She's proud of her promotion, but she'll laugh out of the other side of her mouth when the work piles up.Also laugh on the wrong side of one's mouth/face.
- laugh up one's sleeve. sleeve(def 7).
Origin of laugh
SynonymsSee more synonyms for laugh on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for laugh
I watch every episode alone on my couch and I just sit there and laugh, and laugh.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
Hopefully, she got as much of a laugh out of it as the rest of the world has.Slow Motion Tiger Jump, a Tornado at the Rose Bowl and More Viral Videos
The Daily Beast Video
January 4, 2015
We love to laugh at Kim and Company because it distracts our souls from the horrific reality of their hermetic regime.Pyongyang Shuffle: Hollywood In Dead Panic Over Sony Hack
December 19, 2014
Ramone, who turned to religion while trying to kick drugs, would probably approve (and laugh a little, too).‘All Good Cretins Go to Heaven’: Dee Dee Ramone’s Twisted Punk Paintings
December 15, 2014
First we laugh, then we begin to wonder why the man was so distracted that he didn't notice he'd taken the doorknob with him.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
"They won't go back without me, I reckon," he added, with a laugh.Brave and Bold
Lanning, if I had you at my back I could laugh at the law the rest of our lives!
A note of exultation in his laugh, like that in a blackbird's call, alone proclaimed it.Viviette
William J. Locke
Grace's laugh sounded a trifle shaky, but it was a laugh nevertheless.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
Why, man, with you at my back I'd laugh at twenty fellows like these.
- (intr) to express or manifest emotion, esp mirth or amusement, typically by expelling air from the lungs in short bursts to produce an inarticulate voiced noise, with the mouth open
- (intr) (esp of certain mammals or birds) to make a noise resembling a laugh
- (tr) to utter or express with laughterhe laughed his derision at the play
- (tr) to bring or force (someone, esp oneself) into a certain condition by laughterhe laughed himself sick
- (intr foll by at) to make fun (of); jeer (at)
- (intr foll by over) to read or discuss something with laughter
- don't make me laugh informal I don't believe you for a moment
- laugh all the way to the bank informal to be unashamedly pleased at making a lot of money
- laugh in a person's face to show open contempt or defiance towards a person
- laugh like a drain informal to laugh loudly and coarsely
- laugh up one's sleeve to laugh or have grounds for amusement, self-satisfaction, etc, secretly
- laugh on the other side of one's face to show sudden disappointment or shame after appearing cheerful or confident
- be laughing informal to be in a favourable situation
- the act or an instance of laughing
- a manner of laughter
- informal a person or thing that causes laughterthat holiday was a laugh
- the last laugh the final success in an argument, situation, etc, after previous defeat
Word Origin and History for laugh
late 14c., from Old English (Anglian) hlæhhan, earlier hlihhan, from Proto-Germanic *klakhjanan (cf. Old Norse hlæja, Danish le, Old Frisian hlakkia, Old Saxon hlahhian, Middle Dutch and Dutch lachen, Old High German hlahhan, German lachen, Gothic hlahjan), from PIE *kleg-, of imitative origin (cf. Latin cachinnare "to laugh aloud," Sanskrit kakhati "laughs," Old Church Slavonic chochotati "laugh," Lithuanian klageti "to cackle," Greek kakhazein). Originally with a "hard" -gh- sound, as in Scottish loch; the spelling remained after the pronunciation shifted to "-f."
If I coveted nowe to avenge the injuries that you have done me, I myght laughe in my slyve. [John Daus, "Sleidanes Commentaries," 1560]
Related: Laughed; laughing.
1680s, from laugh (v.). Meaning "a cause of laughter" is from 1895; ironic use (e.g. that's a laugh) attested from 1930. Laugh track "canned laughter on a TV program" is from 1961.
Idioms and Phrases with laugh
In addition to the idioms beginning with laugh
- laugh all the way to the bank
- laugh and the world laughs with you
- laugh at
- laughing matter
- laugh off
- laugh one's head off
- laugh out of court
- laugh out of the other side of one's mouth
- laugh up one's sleeve
- canned laughter
- die laughing
- it's to laugh
- last laugh
- no joke (laughing matter)
- shake with laughter