1. Enjoyment; amusement: We had fun at the beach.
2. A source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure: Was the party fun?
v. funned, fun·ning, funs
To speak or act facetiously; joke or fool.
To tease or speak playfully to.
Enjoyable; amusing: "You're a real fun guy" (Margaret Truman).
As a joke; playfully.
[Possibly from fon, to make a fool of, from Middle English fonnen, to fool, possibly from fonne, fool.]
Usage Note: The use of fun as an adjective probably originated when people heard the noun in sentences like Skiing is fun and interpreted it as a predicate adjective along the lines of Skiing is enjoyable. From there it was a short step to using fun attributively to modify a noun, as in a fun time or a fun place. This usage has become widespread and must be considered standard; in our 2015 survey, the sentence We went to a fun party was judged acceptable by 84 percent of the Usage Panel. The inflection of the adjective (as funner, funnest) is another matter. Although the inflected forms have been in use since the 1950s, they are almost never found in edited prose aside from direct quotations, usually of children. In our survey, funner and funnest were rated as unacceptable by 88 percent and 80 percent of the Panelists, respectively, and most of the remainder rated them as merely "somewhat acceptable."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.