From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishjokejoke1 /dʒəʊk $ dʒoʊk/ ●●● S2 W3 noun [countable] 1 JOKEsomething that you say or do to make people laugh, especially a funny story or trickjoke about a joke about absent-minded professors I couldn’t go out with someone for a joke, could you?2 → be a joke3 → go/get/be beyond a joke4 → something is no joke5 → somebody can take a joke6 → make a joke (out) of something7 → somebody’s idea of a joke8 → the joke’s on somebody → in-joke, practical joke, → standing joke at standing1(3)COLLOCATIONSverbstell a joke (=repeat a funny story)He was always telling jokes and making people laugh.make a joke (also crack a joke) (=say something intended to be funny)He was cracking jokes and seemed relaxed and happy.get a joke (=understand a joke and find it funny)She never gets my jokes.laugh at somebody’s jokesA few people laughed at his jokes, but some didn’t find them funny.play a joke on somebody (=trick someone to make people laugh)John’s always playing jokes on his brothers.adjectivesa good/funny jokeI heard a really good joke the other day.a bad/terrible joke (=not funny)Dad was known for his bad jokes.a cruel/sick joke (=very unkind)When I heard he had cancer, at first I thought it was some kind of sick joke.an old jokeIt reminded me of the old joke about the chicken crossing the road.a dirty joke (=about sex)A bunch of boys were telling dirty jokes.a practical joke (=that involves tricking someone)What the workers think is a practical joke, management might regard as sabotage.an inside/a private joke (=that only a few people who are involved in something will understand)After I’d worked there a while, I started to understand some of the inside jokes.a running joke (=in which people always laugh when the same situation happens, or when someone says something)It’s a running joke in our house that my husband can never find his keys.phrasesa joke falls flat (=people don’t find a joke funny)His practical jokes usually fell flat.be the butt of a joke (=be the person a joke is made about, so that people laugh at you)Somehow he’d become the butt of all his classmates’ jokes.COMMON ERRORS ► Don’t say ‘say a joke’. Say tell a joke. THESAURUSjoke a funny story that you tell people to make them laughWe all sat around telling jokes.Have you heard the joke about the man who found a frog in his soup?funny story a short story that someone tells to make people laughHe was one of those guys who are good at telling funny stories at dinner parties.gag a short joke, especially one told by a professional entertainerHe’s a great comedian, with plenty of good gags.one-liner a very short joke or funny remarkThere are some memorable one-liners in the film.wisecrack a funny remark or reply, especially one that is said in a very quick and clever wayIt’s a comic masterpiece, packed with classic wisecracks.pun (also play on words) a joke made by mixing up two different meanings of the same word, or two words with the same sounda pun on the words ‘bear’ and ‘bare’The title of the book is a witty play on words. Shakespeare used a lot of puns for comic effect.quip written something funny and clever that someone saysHe made some friendly quip about hair loss, and everyone laughed.
Examples from the Corpusjoke• It is much too risky at the start of an interaction to make a joke about the other person.• We didn't mean to frighten you. It was only a joke.• I can take a joke as well as anyone, but this isn't funny, it's embarrassing.• It's a good idea to start a speech by telling a joke.• And that was a joke, because I was half-dead with worry myself.• What a joke that meeting was.• Leno opened the show with a joke about the election.• But he is rescued, along with others, and the whole terrifying ordeal, he discovers, becomes a big joke.• In some situations, a dirty joke can be considered sexual harassment.• They may even have a few jokes of their own.• Do you want to hear a good joke?• Have you heard any good jokes lately?• Inside the parcel there was an empty bottle. "Is this some kind of joke?'' he asked.• The two girls were whispering in the corner and giggling over some private joke.• You're given comedy and miss all the jokes.• It wasn't that I didn't get the joke - I just didn't think it was funny.• Everyone laughed except Mr Broadbent, who didn't see the joke.• The joke goes on to say that every night is Wednesday!• Wilson spoke for about 15 minutes, peppering his mainly serious message with jokes.for a joke• Mulcahey searched his brain for a joke, but there was only a translucent blankness.• One day some street cowboys threw an uncharged hand grenade at him for a joke.• The Reverend George Whitefield was not a man for jokes.• Not entirely sober one evening in 1832, Turner entered a Preston temperance meeting for a joke but came out converted.• She was in no mood for jokes.• He was not in the mood for jokes.• I talk to him like that more for joke than anything else.jokejoke2 ●●● S3 verb [intransitive] 1 SERIOUS/NOT JOKINGto say things that are intended to be funny and that you do not really meanjoke about I never joke about money.joke with As we left the hospital, he joked with the staff.joke that His father joked that his son was trying to put him out of business. Calm down, Jo, I was only joking.2 → you’re joking/you must be joking3 → joking apart/aside —jokingly adverb→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusjoke• A group of teenagers were standing at the corner, laughing and joking.• I must tell Philippa that I was joking.• Though Cosby joked about it, Ennis' school performance in those years was anything but funny offstage.• When he was a kid he was embarrassed about his height, but now he can joke about it.• Some one joked about opening a tranquilizer concession.• Now he was joking about the rumours of his marriage.• They're a good class to teach. You can joke and have a laugh with them.• Well, okay, he joked, his voice smooth as glass.• Armed with his Bumper Fun Book, the minister of Dunlop joked his way around the world at various functions.• I was unresponsive and kept joking with him about it - but I made it clear I wasn't interested.only joking• At the time, she was only joking.• Of course, Fagan was only joking about not having Chaffee back next year.• Bill Shankly was only joking when he said football was more important than life and death.Origin joke1 (1600-1700) Latin jocus