laugh: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (laf, läf), [key]
— v.i.
  1. to express mirth, pleasure, derision, or nervousness with an audible, vocal expulsion of air from the lungs that can range from a loud burst of sound to a series of quiet chuckles and is usually accompanied by characteristic facial and bodily movements.
  2. to experience the emotion so expressed: He laughed inwardly at the scene.
  3. to produce a sound resembling human laughter: A coyote laughed in the dark.
  1. to drive, put, bring, etc., by or with laughter (often fol. by out, away, down, etc.): They laughed him out of town. We laughed away our troubles.
  2. to utter with laughter: He laughed his consent.
  3. They were laughing at him, not along with him.
    1. to make fun of; deride; ridicule:They were laughing at him, not along with him.
    2. to be scornful of; reject:They stopped laughing at the unusual theory when it was found to be predictive.
    3. to find sympathetic amusement in; regard with humor:We can learn to laugh a little at even our most serious foibles.
  4. See(def. 4).
  5. to dismiss as ridiculous, trivial, or hollow: He had received threats but laughed them off as the work of a crank.
  6. to dismiss or depreciate by means of ridicule; totally scorn: His violent protests were laughed out of court by the others.
  7. to undergo a chastening reversal, as of glee or satisfaction that is premature; be ultimately chagrined, punished, etc.; cry: She's proud of her promotion, but she'll laugh out of the other side of her mouth when the work piles up.
  1. the act or sound of laughing; laughter.
  2. an expression of mirth, derision, etc., by laughing.
  3. something that provokes laughter, amusement, or ridicule: After all the advance publicity, the prizefight turned out to be a laugh.
  4. fun; amusement.
  5. to prove ultimately successful after a seeming defeat or loss: She smiled slyly, because she knew she would yet have the last laugh on them.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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