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- 3 Min Nan
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈhɑːhɑː/, /hɑːˈhɑː/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈhɑˌhɑ/, /ˌhɑˈhɑ/
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approximation of the sound of laughter
ha-ha (plural ha-has)
- A laugh.
- 2012, David Mazzarella, “Benigna’s Story”, in Always Eat the Hard Crust of the Bread: Recollections and Recipes from My Centenarian Mother, Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse, in association with TPD Publishing LLC, →ISBN, page 24:
- Not just giggles or a few ha-has, but the paralyzing kind of laughter, when the eyes tear and the nose runs and one gasps seemingly unto apoplexy.
- Something funny; a joke.
- 1983 March, Patricia Sharpe; Helen Thompson, “Around the State: A Selective Statewide Guide to Amusements and Events”, in Texas Monthly, volume 11, number 3, Austin, Tx.: Texas Monthly, Inc., ISSN 0148-7736, OCLC 466334481, page 68, column 3:
- Durty Nelly's, […] You'll catch a few ha-has and even a golden memory or two singing along with the house piano player.
- 1996, Lois A. Chaber, “Sir Charles Grandison and the Human Prospect”, in Albert J. Rivero, editor, New Essays on Samuel Richardson, New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, →ISBN, page 196:
- She is not rewarded until she learns to reduce her expectations, and surprises (the ha-has of this novel) are the educational tool.
ha-ha (plural ha-has)
- (architecture) A ditch with one vertical side, acting as a sunken fence, designed to block the entry of animals into lawns and parks without breaking sightlines.
- 1814 July, [Jane Austen], chapter IX, in Mansfield Park: A Novel. In Three Volumes, volume I, London: Printed for T[homas] Egerton, Military Library, Whitehall, OCLC 39810224, page 197:
- A few steps farther brought them out at the bottom of the very walk they had been talking of; and standing back, well shaded and sheltered, and looking over a ha-ha into the park, was a comfortable-sized bench, on which they all sat down.
- 1896, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, “The Sayers of the Law”, in The Island of Doctor Moreau (Heinemann’s Colonial Library of Popular Fiction; 52), London: William Heinemann, OCLC 892648905; republished as The Island of Doctor Moreau: A Possibility, New York, N.Y.: Stone & Kimball, 1896, OCLC 660486, pages 115–116:
- This pathway ran up hill, across another open space covered with white incrustation, and plunged into a canebrake again. Then suddenly it turned parallel with the edge of a steep-walled gap, which came without warning, like the ha-ha of an English park,—turned with an unexpected abruptness. I was still running with all my might, and I never saw this drop until I was flying headlong through the air.
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