Word of the Day Archive
Monday March 20, 2000
1. Capable of laughing; disposed to laugh.
2. Exciting or provoking laughter; worthy of laughter; laughable; amusing.
3. Relating to, connected with, or used in laughter; as, "risible muscles."
Before long, I began to read aloud with my father, chanting the strange and wondrous rivers -- Shenandoah, Rappahannock, Chickahominy -- and wrapping my tongue around the risible names of rebel generals: Braxton Bragg, Jubal Early, John Sappington Marmaduke, William "Extra Billy" Smith, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.
-- Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic
All twelve selected are thoughtful, small and funny in both senses of the word: odd and risible.
-- Stefan Kanfer, "Of Cats, Myths and Pizza", Time, December 11, 1989
But Lionel . . . is not a risible character, even though he is often called "freakshow" and "crazyman."
-- Adam Mazmanian, "Postmodern PI", Washington Post, November 7, 1999
Risible comes from Late Latin risibilis, from the past participle of Latin ridere, "to laugh, to laugh at." The noun form is risibility.