Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A laugh.

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

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The sound of laughing, produced by air so expelled; any similar sound.
  • noun 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.
  • noun archaic A reason for merriment

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English hleahtor.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

  • Your laughter is the laughter of Lord Haw Haw. 36% of young Muslims believe that a Muslim that converts to another faith should be punished by death and 15% openly admit that they admire Al Qaeda, as per Policy exchange. 45 % of British Muslims believe that 9.11 was an Israeli/American conspiracy.

    Archive 2007-03-25

  • Your laughter is the laughter of Lord Haw Haw. 36% of young Muslims believe that a Muslim that converts to another faith should be punished by death and 15% openly admit that they admire Al Qaeda, as per Policy exchange. 45 % of British Muslims believe that 9.11 was an Israeli/American conspiracy.

    Fight ! Fight ! Fight !

  • Other times, the laughter is a response to candidates being forced to answer a difficult question in 30 seconds on national television.

    Archive 2007-12-01

  • Your laughter is the laughter of Lord Haw Haw. 36% of young Muslims believe that a Muslim that converts to another faith should be punished by death and 15% openly admit that they admire Al Qaeda, as per Policy exchange. 45 % of British Muslims believe that 9.11 was an Israeli/American conspiracy.

    Appeasement and its Myths

  • Other times, the laughter is a response to candidates being forced to answer a difficult question in 30 seconds on national television.

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • But I notice that you laugh and in your laughter is the wisdom of the ages.

    A Briton Looks at the World

  • Its little internal jumps are, then, what we call laughter -- a thing you are well acquainted with.

    The History of a Mouthful of Bread And its effect on the organization of men and animals

  • When all of the scores were averaged together, the word "laughter" ranked 8.5, while "terrorist" got a 1.3, for example.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Those that are most merry and jovial are commonly, when they come to be in distress, most overwhelmed with heaviness and sorrow; their laughter is then turned into mourning.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • British laughter is not the kind of laughter that the enemy likes, because it is the same laughter as that of old Elizabethan buccaneers.

    What I Have Seen Over There and Over Here

Comments

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  • “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

  • I love that quotation.

    December 17, 2007