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English Dictionary: jest by the DICT Development Group
3 results for jest
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
jest
n
  1. a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter; "he told a very funny joke"; "he knows a million gags"; "thanks for the laugh"; "he laughed unpleasantly at his own jest"; "even a schoolboy's jape is supposed to have some ascertainable point"
    Synonym(s): joke, gag, laugh, jest, jape
  2. activity characterized by good humor
    Synonym(s): jest, joke, jocularity
v
  1. tell a joke; speak humorously; "He often jokes even when he appears serious"
    Synonym(s): joke, jest
  2. act in a funny or teasing way
    Synonym(s): joke, jest
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Jest \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.
                  [bd]Jests are, therefore, seldom harmless; jokes
                  frequently allowable. The most serious subject may be
                  degraded by being turned into a jest.[b8] --Crabb.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) [web1913]:
   Jest \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.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
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