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
  1. noun
    activity characterized by good humor
    synonyms: jocularity, joke
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    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
  2. noun
    a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter
    “he laughed unpleasantly at his own jest
    synonyms: 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
  3. verb
    act in a funny or teasing way
    synonyms: joke
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    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
  4. verb
    tell a joke; speak humorously
    synonyms: joke
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    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
Word Family
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