Definitions

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

  • adj. Amusingly odd or whimsically comical.
  • n. Archaic A buffoon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. oddly humorous; whimsical, amusing in a quaint way; waggish
  • n. A buffoon
  • v. To joke, to jest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Queer, and fitted to provoke laughter; ludicrous from oddity; amusing and strange.
  • n. One whose practice it is to raise mirth by odd tricks; a jester; a buffoon; a merry-andrew.
  • n. Something exhibited to raise mirth or sport, as a puppet, a farce, and the like.
  • intransitive v. To jest; to play the buffoon.
  • transitive v. To lead or influence by jest or trick; to banter or jest; to cajole.
  • transitive v. To make a jest of; to set in a comical light.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A waggish fellow; one whose practice or occupation is to raise mirth by odd tricks; a jester, merry-andrew, or buffoon.
  • n. A farce; a dramatic entertainment intended to amuse.
  • Waggish; facetious; comical.
  • Ludicrous; queer; laughable; ridiculous: as, a droll story; a droll scene.
  • Synonyms Comical, Funny, etc. (see ludicrous); amusing, farcical, waggish, fantastic, whimsical.
  • To jest; play the buffoon.
  • To lead or influence by jest or trick; cajole.
  • To turn into a jest.

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

  • adj. comical in an odd or whimsical manner

Etymologies

French drôle, buffoon, droll, from Old French drolle, bon vivant, possibly from Middle Dutch drol, goblin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French drôle ("comical, odd, funny"), from drôle ("buffoon") from Middle French drolle ("a merry fellow, pleasant rascal") from Old French drolle ("one who lives luxuriously"), from Middle Dutch drol ("fat little man, goblin") from Old Norse troll ("giant, troll") (compare Middle High German trolle ("clown")), from Proto-Germanic *truzlan (“creature which walks clumsily”), from Proto-Germanic *truzlanan (“to walk with short steps”). More at troll. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You also get Truffaut's interview excerpts with Hitch, which is as close to a full commentary from him as we'll ever have. imagine what a treat that would be: Hitchcock holding forth in droll glory for nearly two hours.

    Michael Giltz: Halloween DVDs: The Exorcist, Psycho, Troll 2 and More

  • Maybe more time spent in the stacks would have contributed to an understanding of what the word droll means?

    Techdirt

  • She calls his droll accusations stupid and misguided, just about.

    RadarOnline.com

  • He had always assumed she was a genius, her name a droll ironic touch.

    Some Fun

  • Him whom we allowed formerly for a certain pleasant subtilty, and natural way of giving you an unexpected hit, called a droll, is now mimicked by a biter, who is a dull fellow, that tells you a lie with a grave face, and laughs at you for knowing him no better than to believe him.

    The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899

  • Apropos of this small affair, I can recall a droll scene, _de eodem genere_, which I witnessed within a week of the other.

    Memoirs

  • Those who've seen Michael Winterbottom's film A Cock and Bull Story, a surreal treatment of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy, will recall the droll rivalry of Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, playing themselves when the periwigs came off.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • KING: And it worked for your kind of droll approach.

    CNN Transcript Nov 29, 2002

  • In JAFL 31: 480-481 is given a Guatemala droll which is clearly derived from the Arabian Nights form of our story.

    Filipino Popular Tales

  • We have already noted the transition in Prof. Schwedoffs theory of external origin of some hailstones -- and the implications that, to a former generation, seemed so preposterous -- "droll" was the word -- that there are in inter-planetary regions volumes of water -- whether they have fishes and frogs in them or not.

    The Book of the Damned

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A girlfriend once told me I am a droll person. It sounded derogatory, so I looked it up and was relieved to see that it meant funny. But what kind of funny? Am I some kind of clown to her? I don't feel whimsical like the definition here says. It's so perplexing because there are conflicting definitions. I've interpreted it also as dry or ironic humor. So which is it? Can you tell droll humor from other types?

    December 30, 2013

  • Droll thing life is--that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose.
    -Heart of Darkness, Conrad

    March 20, 2011

  • His appearance has been a droll but not his contribution.

    April 28, 2008

  • Thinking of "droll" as a noun brings to mind the word drab as a noun.

    April 12, 2008

  • His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
    And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

    - Clement Clarke Moore, The Night before Christmas

    April 10, 2008

  • curious discussion herein

    April 10, 2008

  • a jester!

    March 10, 2008