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First attested in 1619. From Latin lūdicrus, from lūdō (play).



ludicrous (comparative more ludicrous, superlative most ludicrous)

  1. Idiotic or unthinkable, often to the point of being funny; amusing by being plainly incongruous or absurd.
    Synonyms: laughable, ridiculous, risible
    He made a ludicrous attempt to run for office.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter III, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter II, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      She was a fat, round little woman, richly apparelled in velvet and lace, [] ; and the way she laughed, cackling like a hen, the way she talked to the waiters and the maid, []—all these unexpected phenomena impelled one to hysterical mirth, and made one class her with such immortally ludicrous types as Ally Sloper, the Widow Twankey, or Miss Moucher.
    • 2014 October 18, Paul Doyle, “Southampton hammer eight past hapless Sunderland in barmy encounter”, in The Guardian[1]:
      [] That was a lone blemish on an otherwise tidy start by Poyet’s team – until, that is, the 12th minute, when Vergini produced a candidate for the most ludicrous own goal in Premier League history.
    • 2023 January 1, John Harris, quoting Jeremy Hunt, “The wreckage of Brexit is all around us. How long can our politicians indulge in denial?”, in The Guardian[2]:
      The government responds to such news with its usual ludicrous evasions: “I don’t deny there are costs to a decision like Brexit,” said Jeremy Hunt in November, “but there are also opportunities, and you have to see it in the round.”

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