a joke or witty remark; witticism.
a bantering remark; a piece of good-natured ridicule; taunt.
sport or fun: to speak half in jest, half in earnest.
the object of laughter, sport, or mockery; laughing-stock.
Obsolete. an exploit. Compare gest.
verb (used without object)
to speak in a playful, humorous, or facetious way; joke.
to speak or act in mere sport, rather than in earnest; trifle (often followed by with ): Please don't jest with me.
to utter derisive speeches; gibe or scoff.
verb (used with object)
to deride or joke at; banter.

1250–1300; Middle English; variant spelling of gest

jestful, adjective
jestingly, adverb
outjest, verb (used with object)
unjesting, adjective
unjestingly, adverb

gist, jest, just.

1. quip. See joke. 2. jape, gibe. 4. butt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
jest (dʒɛst)
1.  something done or said for amusement; joke
2.  a frivolous mood or attitude; playfulness; fun: to act in jest
3.  a jeer or taunt
4.  an object of derision; laughing stock; butt
5.  to act or speak in an amusing, teasing, or frivolous way; joke
6.  to make fun of (a person or thing); scoff or mock
[C13: variant of gest]
adj, —n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "narrative of exploits" (originally in verse), from O.Fr. geste "action, exploit," from L. gesta "deeds," neut. pl. of gestus, pp. of gerere "to carry, behave, act, perform." Sense descended through "idle tale" (c.1470) to "mocking speech, raillery" (c.1548) to "joke" (1551). The verb in the
sense of "to speak in a trifling manner" is from 1530. Jester developed from M.E. gestour "a minstrel, professional reciter of romances" (c.1380), from gesten "recite a tale," which was a jester's original function; sense of "buffoon in a prince's court" is from 1510.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Many a word was said in jest but behold now we see many of these coming to pass.
If anything is spoken in jest, it is not fair to turn it to earnest.
Orthodoxies could not be questioned, even in jest.
How much truth could be said in jest.
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