American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Laughable or hilarious because of obvious absurdity or incongruity. See Synonyms at foolish.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Serving for or exciting sport; laughable from singularity or grotesqueness; adapted to cause sportive laughter or ridicule; absurd.
- Synonyms Funny, Comical, Droll, Ludicrous, Ridiculous, Laughable. Either the direct action of laughter or a corresponding sentiment is included in the signification of all these terms.
- In this respect laughable is the generic word, but it is also one of the strongest. Funny is the weakest of the list, ranging from the meaning of ‘amusing’ or ‘odd’ down to its colloquial use in the sense of ‘strange.’ Comical still retains a faint suggestion of its origin in connection with the drama, being primarily used in connection with something done or seen, and hence something viewed by the mind: a comical predicament is just such as would be fit for exhibition in a comedy. Droll especially implies the odd or unfamiliar: as, a droll story, idea, fellow. Ludicrous is an advance in strength upon comical, as comical is an advance upon funny. Ridiculous is the only word in the list that throws contempt or even discredit upon the person concerned: it is allowable to tell a ludicrous story about one's friend, but not a story that makes him appear ridiculous. A thing may be ludicrous, etc., on account of its unreasonableness or violation of common sense; if it is ridiculous, it is certainly on that account. That is laughable which simply provokes a hearty laugh.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Adapted to excite laughter, without scorn or contempt; sportive.
- adj. Ridiculously absurd.
- adj. incongruous;inviting ridicule
- adj. broadly or extravagantly humorous; resembling farce
- First attested in 1619. From Latin lūdicrus, from lūdō ("play"). (Wiktionary)
- From Latin lūdicrus, sportive, from lūdus, game; see leid- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Saturday, Mandela and Deputy President Thabo Mbeki's offices denied what they called ludicrous allegations by Federal Alliance leader”
“More difficult to explain is the laughter excited by scenes or narrations which we call ludicrous, funny, grotesque, comic; and still more so the derisive and contemptuous laugh.”
“The earliest laughter did not arise from what we call the ludicrous, but from something apparently physical -- such as touch -- though it does not follow that it would never otherwise have existed at all, for, as the mind more fully developed itself, facial expressions would flow from superior and more numerous causes.”
“I ask can their leadership continue to spin ludicrous one minute sound bits and claim sound principled governance abilities.”
“The majority of folks know bigotry when they see it, and this quarrel is pretty ludicrous from the get-go.”
“Silly little things usually depicting stickmen dying in ludicrous and humorous ways.”
“What makes your accusation even more ludicrous is that I don't label that many films for purchase, period.”
“The plots, of course, remain ludicrous: last year featured soap's first Lesbian Love Triangle Murder By Parachute Sabotage.”
“Second, and more ludicrous, is that people explode when exposed to vaccuum.”
“Irrational behavior: contributing a factor of production to the global economy that is already in ludicrous excess supply and valued as such by the marketplace.”
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