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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Ridicule


RID'ICULE, noun [Latin ridiculum, from rideo, to laugh or laugh at.]

1. Contemptuous laughter; laughter with some degree of contempt; derision. It expresses less than scorn. ridicule is aimed at what is not only laughable, but improper, absurd or despicable. Sacred subjects should never be treated with ridicule [See Ludicrous.]

Ridicule is too rough an entertainment for the polished and refined. It is banished from France, and is losing ground in England.

2. That species of writing which excites contempt with laughter. It differs from burlesque, which may excite laughter without contempt, or it may provoke derision.

Ridicule and derision are not exactly the same, as derision is applied to persons only, and ridicule to persons or things. We deride the man, but ridicule the man or his performances.

RID'ICULE, verb transitive

1. To laugh at with expressions of contempt; to deride.

2. To treat with contemptuous merriment; to expose to contempt or derision by writing.

RID'ICULE, adjective Ridiculous. [Not in use.]