A jest is a joke. Are you a playful prankster? A jocular jokester? A witty wisecracker? Then you are definitely well versed in the art of the jest.

To jest means to banter and joke in a playful way — like a "court jester," whose job it was in medieval times to entertain the royal court with funny stories. Today when we jest we generally joke around or gently tease. The noun's meaning evolved over time, from "idle tale" to "mocking speech," and finally to "joke."

Definitions of jest

n activity characterized by good humor

jocularity, joke
drollery, waggery
a quaint and amusing jest
leg-pull, leg-pulling
as a joke: trying to make somebody believe something that is not true
an agreeable or amusing remark
Type of:
diversion, recreation
an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates

n a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter

“he laughed unpleasantly at his own jest
gag, jape, joke, laugh
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belly laugh, howler, riot, scream, sidesplitter, thigh-slapper, wow
a joke that seems extremely funny
blue joke, blue story, dirty joke, dirty story
an indelicate joke
ethnic joke
a joke at the expense of some ethnic group
funny, funny remark, funny story, good story
an account of an amusing incident (usually with a punch line)
a joke that is appreciated only by members of some particular group of people
a one-line joke
shaggy dog story
a long rambling joke whose humor derives from its pointlessness
sick joke
a joke in bad taste
sight gag, visual joke
a joke whose effect is achieved by visual means rather than by speech (as in a movie)
Type of:
humor, humour, wit, witticism, wittiness
a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter

v act in a funny or teasing way

antic, clown, clown around
act as or like a clown
Type of:
act, behave, do
behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself

v tell a joke; speak humorously

gag, quip
make jokes or quips
fool, fool around, horse around
indulge in horseplay
make a play on words
Type of:
communicate, intercommunicate
transmit thoughts or feelings

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