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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