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practical joke

a playful trick, often involving some physical agent or means, in which the victim is placed in an embarrassing or disadvantageous position.
Origin of practical joke
Related forms
practical joker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for practical joke
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The whole thing had been a practical joke, in which Frank had played a prominent part.

    Frank Merriwell's Reward Burt L. Standish
  • This has more the aspect of a practical joke than an act of barbarism.

  • Everything important is in that sense absurd from the grave baby to the grinning skull; everything practical is a practical joke.

    George Bernard Shaw Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • It is, I suppose, a practical joke on the part of one of you.

  • We are all ready, I am sure, to make allowance for a gentleman who is suffering from the irritation of a practical joke.

    The Master of the Shell Talbot Baines Reed
  • Had her room-mate only been intending to play a practical joke on Stephanie?

British Dictionary definitions for practical joke

practical joke

a prank or trick usually intended to make the victim appear foolish
Derived Forms
practical joker, noun
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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