Word of the Day

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

risible

\RIZ-uh-buhl\ , adjective;
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."
Quotes:
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
Origin:
Risible comes from Late Latin risibilis, from the past participle of Latin ridere, "to laugh, to laugh at." The noun form is risibility.
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