From Latin iocus (“joke, jest, pastime”), from Proto-Italic *jokos (“word, (playful?) saying”), from Proto-Indo-European *yokos (“word, utterance”), from ultimate root Proto-Indo-European *yek- (“to speak, utter”) (of which distant cognates include Proto-Celtic *yextis (“language”) (Breton yezh (“language”) and Welsh iaith (“language”)) and German Beichte (“confession”)). Cognate with French jeu, Italian gioco, Portuguese jogo, Spanish juego, Romanian juca, English Yule, Danish Jule, Norwegian Bokmål Jul, Swedish Jul, and Norwegian Nynorsk jol.
joke (plural jokes)
- An amusing story.
- 1708, John Gay, Wine
- Or witty joke our airy senses moves / To pleasant laughter.
- 1708, John Gay, Wine
- Something said or done for amusement, not in seriousness.
- It was a joke!
- 1733–1737, Alexander Pope, [Imitations of Horace], London: […] R[obert] Dodsley [et al.]:
- (figuratively) The root cause or main issue, especially an unexpected one
- (figuratively) A laughably worthless thing or person; a sham.
- Your effort at cleaning your room is a joke.
- The president was a joke.
- 1943 September and October, T. Lovatt Williams, “Some Reminiscences of the Footplate—II”, in Railway Magazine, page 272:
- The other wheel on the tender of the L.N.W.R. engines operated the tender brake, and this was always rather a joke. Sometimes it operated with good results and on other occasions it did not.
- (figuratively) Something that is far easier or far less challenging than expected.
- The final exam was a joke.
- See also Thesaurus:joke
- bad joke
- blonde joke
- dad joke
- dirty joke
- fourth wall joke
- green joke
- inside joke
- Irish joke
- joke book
- joke Joyce
- joke shop
- knock knock joke
- knock-knock joke
- light bulb joke
- make a joke of
- Newfie joke
- practical joke
- private joke
- running joke
- standing joke
- take a joke
- the joke is on someone
- the jokes write themselves
- there's a grain of truth in every joke
Adjectives often applied to "joke": old, bad, inside, poor, silly, funny, lame, hilarious, stupid, offensive.
joke (third-person singular simple present jokes, present participle joking, simple past and past participle joked)
- (intransitive) To do or say something for amusement rather than seriously.
- I didn’t mean what I said — I was only joking.
- (intransitive, followed by with) To dupe in a friendly manner for amusement; to mess with, play with.
- Relax, man, I'm just joking with you.
- (transitive, dated) To make merry with; to make jokes upon; to rally.
- to joke a comrade
- 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 21, in The History of Pendennis. […], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, […], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
- He made more than one visit to Oxbridge, where the young fellows were amused by entertaining the old gentleman, and gave parties and breakfasts and fêtes, partly to joke him and partly to do him honour.
joke c (singular definite joken, plural indefinite jokes)
joke (past tense jokede, past participle joket)
joke f (plural jokes)
- (Louisiana, Quebec) joke
- 2009, Robert Maltais, Le Curé du Mile End, page 195:
- Non, non, c'est juste une joke. Garde-lé, ton vingt piastres.
- No, no, that was a joke. Keep it, your twenty bucks.
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *yek-
- English terms derived from Latin
- English terms derived from Proto-Italic
- English 1-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/əʊk/1 syllable
- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English terms with quotations
- English terms with usage examples
- English derogatory terms
- English verbs
- English intransitive verbs
- English transitive verbs
- English dated terms
- Danish terms borrowed from English
- Danish terms derived from English
- Danish terms with IPA pronunciation
- Danish lemmas
- Danish nouns
- Danish common-gender nouns
- Danish verbs
- French terms derived from English
- French 1-syllable words
- French terms with IPA pronunciation
- French 2-syllable words
- French terms with audio links
- French lemmas
- French nouns
- French countable nouns
- French terms spelled with K
- French feminine nouns
- Louisiana French
- Quebec French
- French terms with quotations