laughter

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See also: Laughter

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English laughter, laghter, laȝter, from Old English hleahtor (laughter, jubilation, derision), from Proto-Germanic *hlahtraz (laughter), from Proto-Indo-European *klek-, *kleg- (to shout). Cognate with German Gelächter (laughter, hilarity, merriment), Danish and Norwegian latter (laughter), Icelandic hlátur (laughter). More at laugh.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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laughter (usually uncountable, plural laughters)

  1. The sound of laughing, produced by air so expelled; any similar sound.
    Their loud laughter betrayed their presence.
    • 1899, Stephen Crane, chapter 1, in Twelve O'Clock:
      There was some laughter, and Roddle was left free to expand his ideas on the periodic visits of cowboys to the town.
  2. A movement (usually involuntary) of the muscles of the laughing face, particularly of the lips, and of the whole body, with a peculiar expression of the eyes, indicating merriment, satisfaction or derision, and usually attended by a sonorous and interrupted expulsion of air from the lungs.
  3. (archaic) A reason for merriment.

Usage notes[edit]

Laughter is statistically the happiest English language word on Twitter according to the Hedonometer, an online tool that measures happiness, with an overall happiness score of 8.5 out of 9, followed by happiness, which scored 8.44, and love, which scored 8.42.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English hleahtor, from Proto-Germanic *hlahtraz.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈlau̯xtər/, /ˈlɛi̯xtər/, /ˈlaxtər/, /ˈlixtər/

Noun[edit]

laughter (plural laughtres)

  1. Laughter; the production of laughs or snickers.
    • a. 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “Book IV”, in Troilus and Criseyde, line 862-868:
      She was right swich to seen in hir visage / As is that wight that men on bere binde / Hir face, lyk of Paradys the image / Was al y-chaunged in another kinde. / The pleye, the laughtre men was wont to finde / On hir, and eek hir Ioyes everychone, / Ben fled, and thus lyth now Criseyde allone.
      She was such to see in her visage / like that woman that men on a bier notice; / Her face which was the image of Paradise / had totally changed to another kind; / the play, the laughter men tended to find / on her, and all her joys as well / had left, and there Cressida now lies alone.
  2. An instance or bout of laughing or laughter.
  3. A humorous matter; something worthy of being derided.

Descendants[edit]

  • English: laughter
  • Scots: lachter, lauchter

References[edit]