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[kom-ik] /ˈkɒm ɪk/
of, relating to, or characterized by comedy:
comic opera.
of or relating to a person who acts in or writes comedy:
a comic actor; a comic dramatist.
of, relating to, or characteristic of comedy:
comic situations; a comic sense.
provoking laughter; humorous; funny; laughable.
a comedian.
comics, comic strips.
the comic, the element or quality of comedy in literature, art, drama, etc.:
An appreciation of the comic came naturally to her.
Origin of comic
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin cōmicus < Greek kōmikós, equivalent to kôm(os) a revel + -ikos -ic
Related forms
noncomic, adjective, noun
quasi-comic, adjective
semicomic, adjective
uncomic, adjective
Can be confused
comedic, comic, comical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for comics
  • This painting appears many times in tick comics and in the animated series.
  • Dc comics likewise began collecting series and published them in book format.
  • Entertainment, the magazine is under the corporate control of subsidiary dc comics.
  • Gazer is a fictional character, a mutant in the marvel comics universe.
  • For comics printed in color, there is usually a separate colorist.
  • Largely due to tracing, these comics regularly took six to eight hours to complete.
  • The dc comics villain two face was disfigured as a result of a vitriol throw.
  • The abominable snowman is also a character in the marvel comics universe.
British Dictionary definitions for comics


of, relating to, characterized by, or characteristic of comedy
(prenominal) acting in, writing, or composing comedy: a comic writer
humorous; funny
a person who is comic, esp a comic actor; comedian
a book or magazine containing comic strips
(usually pl) (mainly US & Canadian) comic strips in newspapers, etc
Word Origin
C16: from Latin cōmicus, from Greek kōmikos relating to comedy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for comics



late 14c., "of comedy in the dramatic sense," from Latin comicus "of comedy, represented in comedy, in comic style," from Greek komikos "of or pertaining to comedy," from komos (see comedy). Meaning "intentionally funny" first recorded 1791, and comedic (1630s) has since picked up the older sense of the word.

Speaking of the masters of the comedic spirit (if I call it, as he does, the Comic Spirit, this darkened generation will suppose me to refer to the animal spirits of tomfools and merryandrews) .... [G.B. Shaw, 1897]
Something that is comic has comedy as its aim or origin; something is comical if the effect is comedy, whether intended or not.


"a comedian" is from 1580s, from comic (adj.). Latin adjective comicus also meant "a comic poet, writer of comedies." Meaning "a comic book or comic strip" is from 1889 (Comic strip first attested 1920; comic book is from 1941). Comic relief is attested from 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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