comedian

A comedian tells jokes for a living. If you have the ability to crack everyone up at the dinner table, your mom might say that you should be a comedian.

Comedians perform in various ways: a stand-up comedian, for example, tells jokes on a stage at a comedy club. Other comedians might perform improvisational comedy routines in a group, or be featured in a funny movie. In the 16th century, a comedian was specifically a "comic poet," while later the words comedian and actor were briefly interchangeable. It comes from the Greek komoidia, "an amusing spectacle."

Definitions of comedian
  1. noun
    a professional performer who tells jokes and performs comical acts
    synonyms: comic
    see moresee less
    examples:
    show 18 examples...
    hide 18 examples...
    Benjamin Kubelsky
    United States comedian known for his timeing and delivery and self-effacing humor (1894-1974)
    Nathan Birnbaum
    United States comedian and film actor (1896-1996)
    Sidney Caesar
    United States comedian who pioneered comedy television shows (born 1922)
    Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin
    English comedian and film maker; portrayed a downtrodden little man in baggy pants and bowler hat (1889-1977)
    Jimmy Durante
    United States comedian remembered for his large nose and hoarse voice (1893-1980)
    William Claude Dukenfield
    United States comedian and film actor (1880-1946)
    Oliver Hardy
    United States slapstick comedian who played the pompous and overbearing member of the Laurel and Hardy duo who made many films (1892-1957)
    Alfred Hawthorne
    risque English comedian (1925-1992)
    Leslie Townes Hope
    United States comedian (born in England) who appeared in films with Bing Crosby (1903-2003)
    Joseph Francis Keaton
    United States comedian and actor in silent films noted for his acrobatic skills and deadpan face (1895-1966)
    Sir Harry MacLennan Lauder
    Scottish ballad singer and music hall comedian (1870-1950)
    Arthur Stanley Jefferson Laurel
    United States slapstick comedian (born in England) who played the scatterbrained and often tearful member of the Laurel and Hardy duo who made many films (1890-1965)
    Steve Martin
    United States actor and comedian (born in 1945)
    Julius Marx
    United States comedian; one of four brothers who made motion pictures together (1890-1977)
    Leonard Marx
    United States comedian; one of four brothers who made motion pictures together (1891-1961)
    Arthur Marx
    United States comedian; one of four brothers who made motion pictures together (1893-1964)
    Herbert Marx
    United States comedian; one of four brothers who made motion pictures together (1901-1979)
    Dudley Stuart John Moore
    English actor and comedian who appeared on television and in films (born in 1935)
    types:
    show 9 types...
    hide 9 types...
    buffoon, clown, goof, goofball, merry andrew
    a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior
    comedienne
    a female comedian
    gagman, standup comedian
    a comedian who uses gags
    joker, jokester
    a person who enjoys telling or playing jokes
    top banana
    the leading comedian in a burlesque show
    harlequin
    a clown or buffoon (after the Harlequin character in the commedia dell'arte)
    fool, jester, motley fool
    a professional clown employed to entertain a king or nobleman in the Middle Ages
    whiteface
    a clown whose face is covered with white make-up
    zany
    a buffoon in one of the old comedies; imitates others for ludicrous effect
    type of:
    performer, performing artist
    an entertainer who performs a dramatic or musical work for an audience
  2. noun
    an actor in a comedy
    see moresee less
    types:
    comedienne
    a female actor in a comedy
    type of:
    actor, histrion, player, role player, thespian
    a theatrical performer
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week