A jester is a joker or clown who performs for an audience. Most jesters worked for English kings' courts during medieval and Tudor times.

Back in Shakespeare's day, English royals employed many entertainers who performed plays, songs, and other acts for them. Among these professionals was the jester, whose job was keeping the nobles amused. Some jesters would travel in groups, putting on shows in various cities. Fools and jesters appear in many of Shakespeare's plays. The word was originally spelled gestour, which was defined as "a minstrel or teller of tales." The root is the Anglo-Latin gesten, "recite a tale."

Definitions of jester

n a professional clown employed to entertain a king or nobleman in the Middle Ages

fool, motley fool
Type of:
buffoon, clown, goof, goofball, merry andrew
a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior

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