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laugh (lăf, läf)
Share:
v. laughed, laugh·ing, laughs
v.intr.
1. To express certain emotions, especially mirth or delight, by a series of spontaneous, usually unarticulated sounds often accompanied by corresponding facial and bodily movements.
2. To show or feel amusement or good humor: an experience we would laugh about later on.
3.
a. To feel or express derision or contempt; mock: I had to laugh when I saw who my opponent was.
b. To feel a triumphant or exultant sense of well-being: You won't be laughing when the truth comes out.
4. To produce sounds resembling laughter: parrots laughing and chattering in the trees.
v.tr.
1. To affect or influence by laughter: laughed the speaker off the stage; laughed the proposal down.
2. To say with a laugh: He laughed his delight at the victory.
n.
1.
a. The act of laughing.
b. The sound of laughing; laughter.
2. Informal Something amusing, absurd, or contemptible; a joke: The solution they recommended was a laugh.
3. often laughs Informal Fun; amusement: went along just for laughs.
Phrasal Verbs:
laugh at
To treat lightly; scoff at: a daredevil who laughed at danger.
laugh off (or away)
To dismiss as ridiculously or laughably trivial: laughed off any suggestion that her career was over.
Idioms:
laugh all the way to the bank
To take glee in making money, especially from activity that others consider to be unimpressive or unlikely to turn a profit.
laugh out of the other side of (one's) mouth
To see one's good fortune turn to bad; suffer a humbling reversal.
laugh up/in (one's) sleeve
To rejoice or exult in secret, as at another's error or defeat.

[Middle English laughen, from Old English hlæhhan, probably ultimately of imitative origin.]

laugher n.
laughing·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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