Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To express certain emotions, especially mirth or delight, by a series of spontaneous, usually unarticulated sounds often accompanied by corresponding facial and bodily movements.
  • intransitive verb To show or feel amusement or good humor.
  • intransitive verb To feel or express derision or contempt; mock.
  • intransitive verb To feel a triumphant or exultant sense of well-being.
  • intransitive verb To produce sounds resembling laughter.
  • intransitive verb To affect or influence by laughter.
  • intransitive verb To say with a laugh.
  • noun The act of laughing.
  • noun The sound of laughing; laughter.
  • noun Informal Something amusing, absurd, or contemptible; a joke.
  • noun Informal Fun; amusement.
  • idiom (laugh all the way to the bank) To take glee in making money, especially from activity that others consider to be unimpressive or unlikely to turn a profit.
  • idiom (laugh out of the other side of (one's) mouth) To see one's good fortune turn to bad; suffer a humbling reversal.
  • idiom (up/in) To rejoice or exult in secret, as at another's error or defeat.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To express mirth or joy by an explosive inarticulate sound of the voice and a peculiar facial distortion; make a convulsive or chuckling noise excited by sudden merriment or pleasure.
  • To be or appear gay; appear cheerful, pleasant, lively, or brilliant.
  • To scoff playfully; make merry; flout; jeer: with at.
  • To express laughingly; give out with jovial utterance or manner: as, he laughed his consent.
  • To affect in some way by laughter, or a laughing manner; act upon by exercise of risibility: as, to laugh one's self sick or into convulsions; to laugh one out of countenance.
  • noun An expression of merriment by an explosive noise; an inarticulate expression of sudden mirth or joy.
  • noun Mirth or merriment, particularly at the expense of some person or thing; ridicule: used with the definite article: as, the laugh was turned against him.

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

  • intransitive verb To show mirth, satisfaction, or derision, by peculiar movement of the muscles of the face, particularly of the mouth, causing a lighting up of the face and eyes, and usually accompanied by the emission of explosive or chuckling sounds from the chest and throat; to indulge in laughter.
  • intransitive verb Fig.: To be or appear gay, cheerful, pleasant, mirthful, lively, or brilliant; to sparkle; to sport.
  • intransitive verb to make an object of laughter or ridicule; to make fun of; to deride.
  • intransitive verb to laugh secretly, or so as not to be observed, especially while apparently preserving a grave or serious demeanor toward the person or persons laughed at.
  • intransitive verb to laugh in spite of some restraining influence; to laugh aloud.
  • intransitive verb [Slang] to weep or cry; to feel regret, vexation, or disappointment after hilarity or exaltation.
  • transitive verb To affect or influence by means of laughter or ridicule.
  • transitive verb To express by, or utter with, laughter; -- with out.
  • transitive verb To waste in hilarity.
  • transitive verb To cause to be given up on account of ridicule; as, to laugh down a reform.
  • transitive verb to cause one by laughter or ridicule to abandon or give up.
  • transitive verb to deride; to treat with mockery, contempt, and scorn; to despise.
  • noun An expression of mirth peculiar to the human species; the sound heard in laughing; laughter. See laugh, v. i.

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

  • noun An expression of mirth particular to the human species; the sound heard in laughing; laughter.
  • noun Something that provokes mirth or scorn.
  • noun UK A fun person.
  • verb intransitive To show mirth, satisfaction, or derision, by peculiar movement of the muscles of the face, particularly of the mouth, causing a lighting up of the face and eyes, and usually accompanied by the emission of explosive or chuckling sounds from the chest and throat; to indulge in laughter.
  • verb intransitive, obsolete, figuratively To be or appear cheerful, pleasant, mirthful, lively, or brilliant; to sparkle; to sport.
  • verb intransitive To make an object of laughter or ridicule; to make fun of; to deride; to mock.
  • verb transitive To affect or influence by means of laughter or ridicule.
  • verb transitive To express by, or utter with, laughter.

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

  • noun a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter
  • noun a facial expression characteristic of a person laughing

Etymologies

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

[Middle English laughen, from Old English hlæhhan, probably ultimately of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English laughen, laghen, from Old English hlehhan, hlæhan, hlihhan, hliehhan ("to laugh, laugh at, deride, rejoice "), from Proto-Germanic *hlahjanan (“to laugh”), from Proto-Indo-European *klek-, *kleg- (“to shout”). Cognate with Scots lauch ("to laugh"), West Frisian laitsje ("to laugh"), Dutch lachen ("to laugh, smile"), German lachen ("to laugh"), Danish le ("to laugh"), Icelandic hlæja ("to laugh"), Albanian qesh ("to laugh") < arc. klêsh, Latin glōcīre ("to cluck"), Latin glattīre ("to yelp"), Latin gliccīre ("to gaggle"), Welsh cloch ("bell"), Ancient Greek κλώσσω (klṓssô, "to cluck"), Old Church Slavonic  (klekotŭ, "laughter, noise"), Latin clangō ("scream, sound"). Related to clang.

Examples

Comments

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

  • Reír(se), risa // WordReference

    October 19, 2007

  • /lɑ:f/

    October 19, 2007

  • giggle, make a sound w/ your voice when smiling

    May 16, 2009