Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hearty, boisterous burst of laughter.
  • intransitive v. To laugh heartily and boisterously.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A boisterous laugh
  • v. To laugh boisterously.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A loud burst of laughter; a horse laugh.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To laugh loudly and coarsely or rudely.
  • n. A loud, rude burst of laughter; a horse-laugh.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. laugh boisterously
  • n. a burst of deep loud hearty laughter

Etymologies

Probably imitative.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably onomatopoetic. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • My guffaw is muffled by the sound of Cheerios cascading to the floor.

    04.04

  • What has me chuckling, more of a borderline guffaw, is that because MS is so ridiculous about standards they need to call IE8’s actual standards compliant mode, “Super Standards!”

    A few thoughts on Microsoft : #comments

  • My sense of humor is typically not the sort that people "guffaw" at -- but I hope there will be a moment or two of amusement for those who are kind enough to read it.

    Chicago Curiosities

  • Jump ahead on the "guffaw" clip and notice how Mickey goes on to confuse Althouse for McCardle at the end of this Bloggingheads clip, well after the Althouse discussion with Bob Wright is over.

    Mickey Kaus on Sniggergate.

  • The laugh was at the expense of the tormentor, and he retreated from the shop in the "guffaw," and Fitz was permitted to finish his shave in peace -- in peace, at least, so far as this particular tormentor was concerned, for a more formidable one assailed him before his departure.

    Make or Break or, The Rich Man's Daughter

  • From C. P. Ardell’s fat throat came a sound that could only be called a guffaw.

    THE DEVIL’S TEARDROP

  • I would not praise Scalia for laughing at Colbert’s volley at him; Scalia’s laughter was a cover-your-ass kind of guffaw; Colbert made Scalia look like the petty-ass plutocrat that he is.

    Firedoglake » Late Nite FDL: Rockin’ In the Free World

  • Dating, awkwardness, or Intermix guffaw otherwise?

    Meredith Fineman: Fifty First (J)Dates: The Rules of Engagement Part I

  • Birmingham Brown (Mantan Moreland) always got a grin or even an outright guffaw from his patronizing white audience when he exclaimed

    GRINGOS AND GRINGAS....what's in an appelation?

  • While many viewers regard the contest as an excuse to enjoy high-camp dance routines and belting power ballads and guffaw at other countries' quirks, Eurovision is a serious business.

    Western Europe Seeks Eurovision Comeback

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Comments

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  • Oh dear! Didn't mean to endanger you!

    May 16, 2011

  • *bares teeth while laughing*

    *chokes*

    May 15, 2011

  • For some reason, I always picture someone laughing with their teeth showing when I think of this word. Is it the "horse laugh" thing?

    May 15, 2011


  • It was laughing time, and the tall Giraffe
    Lifted his head, and began to laugh:
    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
    And the Chimpanzee on the gingko tree
    Swung merrily down with a Tee Hee Hee:
    Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee!
    'It's certainly not against the law!'
    Croaked Justice Crow with a loud guffaw
    Haw! Haw! Haw! Haw!

    - William Jay Smith, 'Laughing Time'.

    December 5, 2008

  • My wife says I did this this morning----but I can't remember why!

    March 28, 2007

  • One of the great things about guffaw is its ability to be either noun or verb without changing spelling or pronunciation.

    February 21, 2007

  • Well, then I am glad to hear it.

    February 8, 2007

  • I concur. There should be far more guffawing in the world. Thanks for doing your part, andrew.simone.

    February 4, 2007

  • Never too much guffawing, in my opinion. :-)

    February 2, 2007

  • I do this too much

    December 9, 2006