A joke is a funny story or line that's meant to make people laugh. When you're good at telling jokes, you're the life of the party (and you're probably not telling knock-knock jokes).

Many jokes have a "punch line," the part that either makes your listeners guffaw or groan, depending on how funny it is. The rest of the joke leads up to this climax. Another kind of joke is the "practical" sort, a prank, gag, or trick you play on someone. In the 1660s the word was spelled joque and was considered slang. It comes from the Latin root iocus, "joke, sport, or pastime."

Definitions of joke

n a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter

“he told a very funny joke
gag, jape, jest, 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

n activity characterized by good humor

jest, jocularity
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 ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement

antic, caper, prank, put-on, trick
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dirty trick
an unkind or aggressive trick
practical joke
a prank or trick played on a person (especially one intended to make the victim appear foolish)
April fool
a practical joke or trick played on the first day of April
a practical joke that involves inserting a match surreptitiously between the sole and upper of the victim's shoe and then lighting it
a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students)
snipe hunt
an elaborate practical joke in which the unsuspecting victim hunts a snipe and is typically left in the dark holding a bag and waiting for the snipe to run into it
Type of:
diversion, recreation
an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates

n a triviality not to be taken seriously

“I regarded his campaign for mayor as a joke
Type of:
pettiness, puniness, slightness, triviality
the quality of being unimportant and petty or frivolous

v tell a joke; speak humorously

“He often jokes even when he appears serious”
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

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

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