Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A playful or frivolous mood or manner.
  • noun A playful remark; a witticism or joke.
  • noun A playful or amusing act; a prank.
  • noun An object of ridicule; a laughingstock.
  • intransitive verb To make witty or amusing remarks.
  • intransitive verb To act in a playful or facetious manner.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To tell stories or romances. See gest, verb
  • I can not geste, rum, raf, ruf, by letter
  • To trifle (with); amuse or entertain by words or actions; treat as trifling.
  • To say or do something intended to amuse or cause laughter.
  • To take part in a mask or sport; engage in mock combat; just.
  • To utter in jest or sport.
  • To apply a jest to; joke with; banter; rally.
  • A common dialectal form of just.
  • noun An act; deed; achievement; exploit; gest. See gest, n.
  • noun A tale of achievement or adventure; a story; romance. See gest, n., 2.
  • noun A mask; masquerade; pageant.
  • noun A spoken pleasantry; a laughable or intentionally ludicrous saying; a witticism; a joke; a sally.
  • noun An acted pleasantry; a, jocular or playful action; something done to make sport or cause laughter.
  • noun The object of laughter, sport, or mockery; a laughing-stock.
  • noun Synonyms Jest, Joke; quip, quirk, witticism, sally. A joke is often rougher or less delicate than a jest, as a practical joke, but jest often suggests more of lightness or scoffing than joke, as to turn everything into jest. Joke is the word to be used where action is implied; jest is generally applied to something said.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To take part in a merrymaking; -- especially, to act in a mask or interlude.
  • intransitive verb To make merriment by words or actions; to joke; to make light of anything.
  • noun obsolete A deed; an action; a gest.
  • noun obsolete A mask; a pageant; an interlude.
  • noun Something done or said in order to amuse; a joke; a witticism; a jocose or sportive remark or phrase. See Synonyms under Jest, v. i.
  • noun The object of laughter or sport; a laughingstock.
  • noun for mere sport or diversion; not in truth and reality; not in earnest.
  • noun a book containing a collection of jests, jokes, and amusing anecdotes; a Joe Miller.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic An act performed for amusement; a joke.
  • noun obsolete Someone or something that is ridiculed; the target of a joke.
  • verb To tell a joke; to talk in a playful manner; to make fun of something or someone.

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

  • noun a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter
  • verb act in a funny or teasing way
  • verb tell a joke; speak humorously
  • noun activity characterized by good humor

Etymologies

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

[Middle English geste, tale, from Old French, from Latin gesta, deeds, from neuter pl. past participle of gerere, to perform.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English geste ("idle tale"), from Old French geste ("acts, exploits"), from Latin gesta ("acts, deeds")

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Examples

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  • "Many a true word spoken in jest."

    May 1, 2007