American Dictionary of the English Language

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JOKE, noun [Latin jocus.]

1. A jest; something said for the sake of exciting a laugh; something witty or sportive; raillery. A jealous person will rarely bear a joke

2. An illusion; something not real, or to no purpose.

Inclose whole downs in walls, 'tis all a joke!

In joke in jest; for the sake of raising a laugh; not in earnest.

JOKE, verb intransitive [Latin jocor.] To jest; to be merry in words or actions.

JOKE, verb transitive To rally; to cast jokes at; to make merry with.