laugh (lăf, läf)
v. laughed, laugh·ing, laughs
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.
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.
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.
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.
To treat lightly; scoff at: a daredevil who laughed at danger.
laugh off (or away)Idioms:
To dismiss as ridiculously or laughably trivial: laughed off any suggestion that her career was over.
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.]
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.