verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- 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.
Origin of laugh
Synonyms for laugh
Word Origin for laugh
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.
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.
Treat lightly, scoff at. For example, He said the other children all laughed at his jacket, or They stopped laughing at his theory when it proved to be correct. [Late 1300s]
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