[ laf, lahf ]
/ læf, lɑf /
verb (used without object)
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.
verb (used with object)
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.
- 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
before 900; Middle English laughen, Old English hlæh(h)an (Anglian); cognate with Dutch, German lachen, Old Norse hlǣja, Gothic hlahjan
SYNONYMS FOR laugh
6 Laugh, chuckle, grin, smile refer to methods of expressing mirth, appreciation of humor, etc. A laugh may be a sudden, voiceless exhalation, but is usually an audible sound, either soft or loud: a hearty laugh. Chuckle suggests a barely audible series of sounds expressing private amusement or satisfaction: a delighted chuckle. A smile is a (usually pleasant) lighting up of the face and an upward curving of the corners of the lips (which may or may not be open); it may express amusement or mere recognition, friendliness, etc.: a courteous smile. A grin, in which the teeth are usually visible, is like an exaggerated smile, less controlled in expressing the feelings: a friendly grin.
Related formsout·laugh, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for laugh away (1 of 2)
verb (tr, adverb)
to dismiss or dispel (something unpleasant) by laughter
to make (time) pass pleasantly by jesting
British Dictionary definitions for laugh away (2 of 2)
/ (lɑːf) /
(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
Derived Formslaugher, nounlaughing, noun, adjectivelaughingly, adverb
Word Origin for laugh
Old English læhan, hliehhen; related to Gothic hlahjan, Dutch lachen
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
Idioms and Phrases with laugh away
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.