American English

Definition of joke noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1something that you say or do to make people laugh, for example a funny story that you tell I can't tell jokes. She's always cracking jokes. They often make jokes at each other's expense. I didn't get the joke (= understand it). I wish he wouldn't tell dirty jokes (= about sex). I only did it as a joke (= it was not meant seriously). see also in-joke, practical joke
  2. 2[singular] (informal) a person, thing, or situation that is ridiculous or annoying and cannot be taken seriously This latest pay offer is a joke. see also jocular
  3. Idioms to be difficult or unpleasant It's no joke trying to find a job these days.
    the joke's on somebody (informal)
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    used to say that someone who tried to make another person look ridiculous now looks ridiculous instead
    make a joke of something
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    to laugh about something that is serious or should be taken seriously
    take a joke
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    to be able to laugh at a joke against yourself The trouble with her is she can't take a joke.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: joke