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laughing

[laf-ing, lah-fing] /ˈlæf ɪŋ, ˈlɑ fɪŋ/
adjective
1.
that laughs or is given to laughter:
a laughing child.
2.
uttering sounds like human laughter, as some birds.
3.
suggesting laughter by brightness, color, sound, etc.:
a laughing stream; laughing flowers.
4.
laughable:
The increase in crime is no laughing matter.
noun
5.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; see laugh, -ing1, -ing2
Related forms
laughingly, adverb
unlaughing, adjective

laugh

[laf, lahf] /læf, lɑf/
verb (used without object)
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.
verb (used with object)
4.
to drive, put, bring, etc., by or with laughter (often followed by out, away, down, etc.):
They laughed him out of town. We laughed away our troubles.
5.
to utter with laughter:
He laughed his consent.
noun
6.
the act or sound of laughing; laughter.
7.
an expression of mirth, derision, etc., by laughing.
8.
Informal. something that provokes laughter, amusement, or ridicule:
After all the advance publicity, the prizefight turned out to be a laugh.
9.
laughs, Informal. fun; amusement.
Verb phrases
10.
laugh at,
  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.
11.
laugh off, to dismiss as ridiculous, trivial, or hollow:
He had received threats but laughed them off as the work of a crank.
Idioms
12.
have the last laugh, 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.
13.
laugh out of court, to dismiss or depreciate by means of ridicule; totally scorn:
His violent protests were laughed out of court by the others.
14.
laugh out of the other side of one's mouth, 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.
Also, laugh on the wrong side of one's mouth/face.
15.
laugh up one's sleeve. sleeve (def 6).
Origin
before 900; Middle English laughen, Old English hlæh(h)an (Anglian); cognate with Dutch, German lachen, Old Norse hlǣja, Gothic hlahjan
Related forms
outlaugh, verb (used with object)
Synonyms
1. chortle, cackle, cachinnate, guffaw, roar; giggle, snicker, snigger, titter. 6. Laugh, chuckle, grin, smile refer to methods of expressing mirth, appreciation of humor, etc. A laugh may be a sudden, voiceless exhalation, but is usually an audible sound, either soft or loud: a hearty laugh. Chuckle suggests a barely audible series of sounds expressing private amusement or satisfaction: a delighted chuckle. A smile is a (usually pleasant) lighting up of the face and an upward curving of the corners of the lips (which may or may not be open); it may express amusement or mere recognition, friendliness, etc.: a courteous smile. A grin, in which the teeth are usually visible, is like an exaggerated smile, less controlled in expressing the feelings: a friendly grin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for laughing
  • It shows, apparently, desecration of corpses by laughing service members.
  • Humor is the key, especially if it catches your listeners off guard, leaving them laughing and open to suggestion.
  • None one is laughing at the joke but the drug companies.
  • With two large sections of humanity laughing at one another.
  • Any honest skeptic ought to walk away from evolution laughing.
  • Everyone who has every swum in the ocean is laughing at you.
  • The crowd roared and everyone was laughing including her.
  • And the real laughing point here is the statement about tens of thousands of years.
  • More and more, however, people are criticising civil servants for their incompetence rather than laughing at their cunning.
  • Sectarianism was so foreign to him that when he met rank prejudice, he often burst out laughing.
British Dictionary definitions for laughing

laugh

/lɑːf/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to express or manifest emotion, esp mirth or amusement, typically by expelling air from the lungs in short bursts to produce an inarticulate voiced noise, with the mouth open
2.
(intransitive) (esp of certain mammals or birds) to make a noise resembling a laugh
3.
(transitive) to utter or express with laughter: he laughed his derision at the play
4.
(transitive) to bring or force (someone, esp oneself) into a certain condition by laughter: he laughed himself sick
5.
(intransitive) foll by at. to make fun (of); jeer (at)
6.
(intransitive) foll by over. to read or discuss something with laughter
7.
(informal) don't make me laugh, I don't believe you for a moment
8.
(informal) laugh all the way to the bank, to be unashamedly pleased at making a lot of money
9.
laugh in a person's face, to show open contempt or defiance towards a person
10.
(informal) laugh like a drain, to laugh loudly and coarsely
11.
laugh up one's sleeve, to laugh or have grounds for amusement, self-satisfaction, etc, secretly
12.
laugh on the other side of one's face, to show sudden disappointment or shame after appearing cheerful or confident
13.
(informal) be laughing, to be in a favourable situation
noun
14.
the act or an instance of laughing
15.
a manner of laughter
16.
(informal) a person or thing that causes laughter: that holiday was a laugh
17.
the last laugh, the final success in an argument, situation, etc, after previous defeat
Derived Forms
laugher, noun
laughing, noun, adjective
laughingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English læhan, hliehhen; related to Gothic hlahjan, Dutch lachen
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 laughing
n.

mid-14c., verbal noun from laugh (v.). Laughing matter (usually with negative) is from 1560s. Nitrous oxide has been called laughing gas since 1842 (for its exhilarating effects). Davy, experimenting with the gas, discovered these as far back as 1779: "When I took the bag from my mouth, I immediately laughed. The laughter was involuntary, but highly pleasurable, accompanied by a thrill all through me."

laugh

v.

late 14c., from Old English (Anglian) hlæhhan, earlier hlihhan, from Proto-Germanic *klakhjanan (cf. Old Norse hlæja, Danish le, Old Frisian hlakkia, Old Saxon hlahhian, Middle Dutch and Dutch lachen, Old High German hlahhan, German lachen, Gothic hlahjan), from PIE *kleg-, of imitative origin (cf. Latin cachinnare "to laugh aloud," Sanskrit kakhati "laughs," Old Church Slavonic chochotati "laugh," Lithuanian klageti "to cackle," Greek kakhazein). Originally with a "hard" -gh- sound, as in Scottish loch; the spelling remained after the pronunciation shifted to "-f."

If I coveted nowe to avenge the injuries that you have done me, I myght laughe in my slyve. [John Daus, "Sleidanes Commentaries," 1560]
Related: Laughed; laughing.

n.

1680s, from laugh (v.). Meaning "a cause of laughter" is from 1895; ironic use (e.g. that's a laugh) attested from 1930. Laugh track "canned laughter on a TV program" is from 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for laughing

laugh

Related Terms

belly laugh, the horselaugh


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with laughing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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