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- (idiomatic) An object of ridicule, someone who is publicly ridiculed; the butt of a joke.
- c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merry Wiues of Windsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i]:
- Pray you let us not be
laughing-stocks to other men's humours.
- 1856 February, [Thomas Babington] Macaulay, “Oliver Goldsmith [from the Encyclopædia Britannica]”, in T[homas] F[lower] E[llis], editor, The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, new edition, London: Longman, Green, Reader, & Dyer, published 1871, →OCLC:
- When he talked, he talked nonsense, and made himself the laughing-stock of his hearers.
- 2004 September 12, Judy Battista, “Pro Football: NFL Matchups, Week 1”, in New York Times, retrieved 19 April 2009:
- If anyone can restore dignity to a franchise that has been close to a laughing stock in the last few years, it's Gibbs.
- 2019 February 19, Annie Cohen, 'Yes, There’s Anti-Semitism In Labour. No, Those Politicians Didn’t Quit Over It.', The Forward (retrieved 21 February 2019):
- The split was supposedly triggered by racism — specifically anti-Jewish racism. But on this front, the Independent Group have already become a laughingstock.
- 2020 December 2, Andy Byford talks to Paul Clifton, “I enjoy really big challenges...”, in Rail, page 54:
- Toronto Transit Corporation had real issues. [...] My boss was removed in a coup three months after my arrival. I stood in and my learning curve went through the roof. Over five years, we went from being a laughing stock to winning awards.
- See also Thesaurus:laughingstock
object of ridicule