Definitions for: Jest


[n] activity characterized by good humor
[n] a humorous anecdote or remark
[v] act in a funny or teasing way
[v] tell a joke; speak humorously; "He often jokes even when he appears serious"



Webster (1913) Definition: Jest, n. [OE. jeste, geste, deed, action, story, tale,
OF. geste, LL. gesta, orig., exploits, neut. pl. from L.
gestus, p. p. of gerere to bear, carry, accomplish, perform;
perh. orig., to make to come, bring, and perh. akin to E.
come. Cf. Gest a deed, Register, n.]
1. A deed; an action; a gest. [Obs.]

The jests or actions of princes. --Sir T.
Elyot.

2. A mask; a pageant; an interlude. [Obs.] --Nares.

He promised us, in honor of our guest, To grace our
banquet with some pompous jest. --Kyd.

3. Something done or said in order to amuse; a joke; a
witticism; a jocose or sportive remark or phrase. See
Synonyms under Jest, v. i.

I must be sad . . . smile at no man's jests. --Shak.

The Right Honorable gentleman is indebted to his
memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his
facts. --Sheridan.

4. The object of laughter or sport; a laughingstock.

Then let me be your jest; I deserve it. --Shak.

In jest, for mere sport or diversion; not in truth and
reality; not in earnest.

And given in earnest what I begged in jest. --Shak.

Jest book, a book containing a collection of jests, jokes,
and amusing anecdotes; a Joe Miller.


Jest, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Jested; p. pr. & vb. n.
Jesting.]
1. To take part in a merrymaking; -- especially, to act in a
mask or interlude. [Obs.] --Shak.

2. To make merriment by words or actions; to joke; to make
light of anything.

He jests at scars that never felt a wound. --Shak.

Syn: To joke; sport; rally.

Usage: To Jest, Joke. One jests in order to make others
laugh; one jokes to please himself. A jest is usually
at the expense of another, and is often ill-natured; a
joke is a sportive sally designed to promote good
humor without wounding the feelings of its object.
``Jests are, therefore, seldom harmless; jokes
frequently allowable. The most serious subject may be
degraded by being turned into a jest.'' --Crabb.

Synonyms: gag, jape, jocularity, joke, joke, joke, joke, laugh, wheeze, yak

See Also: act, antic, arse around, behave, belly laugh, blackguard, blue joke, blue story, clown, clown around, communicate, dirty joke, dirty story, diversion, do, drollery, ethnic joke, fool, fool around, funny story, gag, gag line, good story, guy, horse around, howler, humor, humour, in-joke, intercommunicate, jest at, laugh at, laugh line, leg-pull, leg-pulling, make fun, one-liner, pleasantry, poke fun, pun, punch line, quip, recreation, rib, ridicule, riot, scream, shaggy dog story, sick joke, sidesplitter, sight gag, tag line, thigh-slapper, visual joke, waggery, wit, witticism, wittiness, wow

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Famous Quotes Containing Jest:


When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.

-- Rudyard Kipling (English Writer)

Listen closely as those around you speak; great truths are revealed in jest.

-- Javan (Greek Celebrity)

I'm from New York, I make kind of somewhat maybe lewd, at times - maybe some would say dirty - jokes. But in jest.

-- Sarah Michelle Gellar (American Actress)

Life is a jest; and all things show it. I thought so once; but now I know it.

-- Bette Davis (American Actress)

I love no woman, for love is a serious business, not a jest.

-- Marie de France (French Poet)

Judge of a jest when you have done laughing.

-- Robert Lloyd (English Poet)

To smile at the jest which plants a thorn in another's breast is to become a principal in the mischief.

-- Richard Brinsley Sheridan (Irish Playwright)

A lot of truth is said in jest.

-- Eminem (American Musician)

Woman: the peg on which the wit hangs his jest, the preacher his text, the cynic his grouch and the sinner his justification.

-- Helen Rowland (American Writer)

The jest loses its point when he who makes it is the first to laugh.

-- Friedrich Schiller (German Dramatist)

War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, the lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.

-- Percy Bysshe Shelley (English Poet)

Those who can least bear a jest upon themselves, will be most diverted with one passed on others.

-- Samuel Richardson (English Novelist)

If all else fails, the character of a man can be recognized by nothing so surely as by a jest which he takes badly.

-- Georg C. Lichtenberg ( Physicist)

Never injure a friend, even in jest.

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero (Roman Statesman)


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