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.
laugh out of the other side of one's mouth
Also, laugh on the wrong side of one's mouth or face. Change from happiness to sadness, disappointment, or vexation. For example, He'll be laughing out of the other side of his mouth when he learns that he'll have to pay for the business trip he sought. [Late 1700s]
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