practical joke

See synonyms for: practical%20jokepractical%20joker on

  1. a playful trick, often involving some physical agent or means, in which the victim is placed in an embarrassing or disadvantageous position.

Origin of practical joke

First recorded in 1840–50

Other words from practical joke

  • practical joker, noun

Words Nearby practical joke Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use practical joke in a sentence

  • 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.

    My Pal Paul Newman | A. E. Hotchner | March 19, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • I wanted to believe that I was really leaving, that it was not a dream, or some cruel (un)practical joke.

    First Day Out of Prison | John Forté | January 26, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • 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.

  • 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

practical joke

  1. a prank or trick usually intended to make the victim appear foolish

Derived forms of practical joke

  • 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