Definitions

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

  • n. The act of laughing.
  • n. The sound produced by laughing.
  • n. Archaic A cause or subject for laughter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The sound of laughing, produced by air so expelled; any similar sound.
  • n. A movement (usually involuntary) of the muscles of the laughing face, particularly of the lips, and of the whole body, with a peculiar expression of the eyes, indicating merriment, satisfaction or derision, and usually attended by a sonorous and interrupted expulsion of air from the lungs.
  • n. A reason for merriment

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A movement (usually involuntary) of the muscles of the face, particularly of the lips, with a peculiar expression of the eyes, indicating merriment, satisfaction, or derision, and usually attended by a sonorous and interrupted expulsion of air from the lungs. See laugh, v. i.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A mode of expressing mirth, consisting chiefly in certain convulsive and partly involuntary actions of the muscles of respiration, by means of which, after an inspiration, the expulsion of the air from the chest in a series of jerks produces a succession of short abrupt sounds, accompanied by certain movements of the muscles of the face, and often of other parts of the body, and, when excessive, by tears: also sometimes applied to any expression of merriment perceivable in the countenance.
  • n. A laugh.

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

  • n. the sound of laughing
  • n. the activity of laughing; the manifestation of joy or mirth or scorn

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English hleahtor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English hleahtor ("laughter, jubilation, derision"), from Proto-Germanic *hlahtraz (“laughter”), from Proto-Indo-European *klek-, *kleg- (“to shout”). Cognate with German Gelächter ("laughter, hilarity, merriment"), Danish and Norwegian latter ("laughter"), Icelandic hlátur ("laughter"). More at laugh. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • I love that quotation.

    December 17, 2007

  • “From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.�?
    – Groucho Marx (1895-1977)

    August 28, 2007