[laf-ter, lahf-]
See more synonyms for laughter on
  1. the action or sound of laughing.
  2. an inner quality, mood, disposition, etc., suggestive of laughter; mirthfulness: a man of laughter and goodwill.
  3. an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement.
  4. Archaic. an object of laughter; subject or matter for amusement.

Origin of laughter

before 900; Middle English; Old English hleahtor; cognate with Old High German hlahtar, Old Norse hlātr; see laugh
Related formslaugh·ter·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for laughters

Historical Examples of laughters

  • Jacky stopped suddenly, and withdrew from the laughters in lofty offence.


    Mrs. Oliphant

  • There were whispers and laughters and sudden sweeping embarrassments.

    Sinister Street, vol. 1

    Compton Mackenzie

  • Sentences that drifted in the night, laughters, sighs—these were part of a mask.


    Ben Hecht

  • Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkleth with swimming enigmas and laughters.

    Thus Spake Zarathustra

    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • The same with my childish angers, my loves, and my laughters.

British Dictionary definitions for laughters


  1. the action of or noise produced by laughing
  2. the experience or manifestation of mirth, amusement, scorn, or joy

Word Origin for laughter

Old English hleahtor; related to Old Norse hlātr
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

Word Origin and History for laughters



late 14c., from Old English hleahtor, from Proto-Germanic *hlahtraz (cf. Old Norse hlatr, Danish latter, Old High German lahtar, German Gelächter); see laugh (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper