a playful trick, often involving some physical agent or means, in which the victim is placed in an embarrassing or disadvantageous position.
- practical joker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use practical joke in a sentence
Maria has a penchant for practical jokes—a scene in which she places a prank call to a neighbor, fueling the woman’s dreams of becoming a film star, is slightly cruel, but also so perfectly executed that you can’t help laughing.Paolo Sorrentino's The Hand of God Is a Gorgeous Memoir of Family Love and Grief | Stephanie Zacharek | December 17, 2021 | Time
Others find humor and stress relief in a good laugh and an amusing practical joke.
Still, when Salazar called to offer him employment, he thought it was a practical joke.Inside a secret running program at Nike and a win-at-all-costs corporate culture | Rachel King | October 6, 2020 | Fortune
It reads like a practical joke, and a half-baked one at that.
A practical joke later in the season led Snooki to chuck wine bottles—there were plenty lying around—at Sitch.‘Jersey Shore’ Canceled: 11 Wildest Moments (VIDEO) | Kevin Fallon | August 31, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
Weiner tried to pass the thing off as a practical joke inspired by his last name, hoping the press would move on.
There was one practical joke, however, that Paul directed at Altman that did pay off.
I wanted to believe that I was really leaving, that it was not a dream, or some cruel (un)practical joke.
He was beginning to hope that Romanoff had been playing a practical joke on him, and that all his fears were groundless.The Everlasting Arms | Joseph Hocking
He felt that he must be the victim of a practical joke, and it was time that his dignity asserted itself.A Hoosier Chronicle | Meredith Nicholson
Betsy's enjoyment of a joke, even of a practical joke, was perhaps the strongest bond between the Emperor and his little neighbor.Napoleon's Young Neighbor | Helen Leah Reed
He recognized it as no more than a practical joke, plain and simple; but the idea was clamoring for attention.The Revolt of the Star Men | Raymond Gallun
Pushing Tony inside, and then closing the door behind, he retreated, laughing heartily to himself over his practical joke.Tony Butler | Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for practical joke
a prank or trick usually intended to make the victim appear foolish
- practical joker, noun
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