comedy

[kom-i-dee]
noun, plural comedies.
1.
a play, movie, etc., of light and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending; a dramatic work in which the central motif is the triumph over adverse circumstance, resulting in a successful or happy conclusion.
2.
that branch of the drama which concerns itself with this form of composition.
3.
the comic element of drama, of literature generally, or of life.
4.
any literary composition dealing with a theme suitable for comedy, or employing the methods of comedy.
5.
any comic or humorous incident or series of incidents.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English comedye < Medieval Latin cōmēdia, Latin cōmoedia < Greek kōmōidía, equivalent to kōmōid(ós) comedian (kômo(s) merry-making + aoidós singer) + -ia -y3

comedial [kuh-mee-dee-uhl] , adjective
procomedy, adjective


5. jesting, humor, pleasantry, banter.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
comedy (ˈkɒmɪdɪ)
 
n , pl -dies
1.  a dramatic or other work of light and amusing character
2.  the genre of drama represented by works of this type
3.  (in classical literature) a play in which the main characters and motive triumph over adversity
4.  the humorous aspect of life or of events
5.  an amusing event or sequence of events
6.  humour or comic style: the comedy of Chaplin
 
[C14: from Old French comédie, from Latin cōmoedia, from Greek kōmōidia, from kōmos village festival + aeidein to sing]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

comedy
late 14c., from O.Fr. comedie, from L. comoedia, from Gk. komoidia "a comedy, amusing spectacle," from komodios "singer in the revels," from komos "revel, carousal" + oidos "singer, poet," from aeidein "to sing." The classical sense is similar to the modern one, but in the Middle Ages the word came to
mean poems and stories generally (albeit ones with happy endings), and the earliest Eng. sense is "narrative poem" (cf. Dante's "Commedia"). Comedy aims at entertaining by the fidelity with which it presents life as we know it; farce at raising laughter by the outrageous absurdity of the situation or characters exhibited; extravaganza at diverting by its fantastic nature; burlesque at tickling the fancy of the audience by caricaturing plays or actors with whose style it is familiar. Generalized sense of "quality of being amusing" dates from 1877.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

comedy definition


A work — play, story, novel, or film — that ends happily for the main character (or protagonist) and contains humor to some degree. A comedy may involve unhappy outcomes for some of the characters. Shylock, for example, in The Merchant of Venice, a comedy by William Shakespeare, is disgraced in the play. The ancient Greeks and Romans produced comedies, and great numbers have been written in modern times.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It would be well if all our lives were a divine tragedy even, instead of this
  trivial comedy or farce.
But the dispiriting, uninspired sameness of romantic comedy strikes me as
  something of a scandal.
Ashamed, he burned all extant copies of it, a treatise on comedy.
Comedy is not really a field in which practice makes perfect.
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