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jest

[jest] /dʒɛst/
noun
1.
a joke or witty remark; witticism.
2.
a bantering remark; a piece of good-natured ridicule; taunt.
3.
sport or fun:
to speak half in jest, half in earnest.
4.
the object of laughter, sport, or mockery; laughing-stock.
5.
Obsolete. an exploit.
Compare gest.
verb (used without object)
6.
to speak in a playful, humorous, or facetious way; joke.
7.
to speak or act in mere sport, rather than in earnest; trifle (often followed by with):
Please don't jest with me.
8.
to utter derisive speeches; gibe or scoff.
verb (used with object)
9.
to deride or joke at; banter.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; variant spelling of gest
Related forms
jestful, adjective
jestingly, adverb
outjest, verb (used with object)
unjesting, adjective
unjestingly, adverb
Can be confused
gist, jest, just.
Synonyms
1. quip. See joke. 2. jape, gibe. 4. butt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for jest
  • 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.
  • That's not entirely in jest.
  • Firstly, my comment was mostly meant in jest, so lighten up a little.
  • It is a humorous and fallacious statement made purely for jest.
  • Though meant in jest, the title of statesman is not entirely inapt.
  • My offhanded political aside in praise of the acting in this movie was made in jest.
  • They are (by and large) the best; I do not jest.
British Dictionary definitions for jest

jest

/dʒɛst/
noun
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
verb
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
Derived Forms
jestful, adjective
jesting, adjective, noun
jestingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: variant of gest
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 jest
n.

early 13c., geste, "narrative of exploits," from Old French geste "action, exploit," from Latin gesta "deeds," neuter plural of gestus, past participle of gerere "to carry, behave, act, perform" (see gest). Sense descended through "idle tale" (late 15c.) to "mocking speech, raillery" (1540s) to "joke" (1550s).

v.

1520s, "to speak in a trifling manner;" 1550s, "to joke," from Middle English gesten "recite a tale" (late 14c.), from geste (see jest (n.)). Sense of "to speak in a trifling manner" is from 1520s. Related: Jested; jesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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