From French drôle (“comical, odd, funny”), from drôle (“buffoon”) from Middle French drolle (“a merry fellow, pleasant rascal”) from Old French drolle (“one who lives luxuriously”), from Middle Dutch drol (“fat little man, goblin”) from Old Norse troll (“giant, troll”) (compare Middle High German trolle (“clown”)), from Proto-Germanic *truzlą (“creature which walks clumsily”), from *truzlaną (“to walk with short steps”). Doublet of drôle and troll.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /dɹəʊl/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /dɹoʊl/
- (Canada) IPA(key): [dɹoːɫ]
- Rhymes: -əʊl
droll (plural drolls)
- (archaic) A funny person; a buffoon, a wag.
- 1751, [Tobias] Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle […], volumes (please specify |volume=I to IV), London: Harrison and Co., […], →OCLC:
- The lieutenant was a droll in his way, Peregrine possessed a great fund of sprightliness and good humour, and Godfrey, among his other qualifications already recited, sung a most excellent song […] .
- 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 12: The Cyclops]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, […], →OCLC, part II [Odyssey], page 294:
- Our two inimitable drolls did a roaring trade with their broadsheets among lovers of the comedy element and nobody who has a corner in his heart for real Irish fun without vulgarity will grudge them their hardearned pennies.
- (archaic) To jest, to joke.
- 1886 May 1 – July 31, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Flight in the Heather: The Heugh of Corrynakeigh”, in Kidnapped, being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: […], London, Paris: Cassell & Company, published 1886, →OCLC, page 205:
- "Eh, man," said I, drolling with him a little, "you're very ingenious! But would it not be simpler for you to write him a few words in black and white?" / "And that is an excellent observe, Mr. Balfour of Shaws," says Alan, drolling with me; [...]
droll n (genitive singular drolls, no plural)