laughable


laughable
laughable, risible, ludicrous, ridiculous, comic, comical, farcical, droll, funny are comparable when they mean provoking or evoking laughter or mirth.
Laughable is the general term for whatever is fit to provoke laughter
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mod- ern audiences do not find Shylock a laughable character

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a laughable incident

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the lower classes aped the rigid decorum of their "betters" with laughable results— Harrison Smith

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Risible is a close synonym of laughable and in this sense, like the former, carries no special connotations
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a risible account of their difficulties

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risible courtroom antics— Hatch

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Ludicrous applies to what induces usually scornful laughter because of its absurdity, incongruity, or preposterousness
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the ludicrous mistakes called schoolboy howlers

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had friendships, one after another, so violent as to be often ludicrousBelloc

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some of the best public school teachers in the last century were hot-tempered men whose disciplinary performances were ludicrousInge

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buildings of different materials and styles . . . thrown together in a way at times fairly ludicrous —A. O. White

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Ridiculous applies to what excites derision because of extreme absurdity, foolishness, or con- temptibility
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good manners at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the behavior of the country is most mock- able at the court— Shak.

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to be always harping on nationality is to convert what should be a recognition of natural conditions into a ridiculous pride in one's own oddities— Santayana

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Comic and comical are becoming distinct in implications and in applications, although they are sometimes interchangeable.
Comic is applicable especially to something that partakes of the spirit of comedy and particularly of the literary form which aims to present life in a way that does not leave a painful impression and that does evoke smiles or laughter, especially thoughtful laughter, or amused reflection
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it is comic to see poor little nonentities like Frank Potter caught in it [Christianity], tangled up in it, and trying to get free and carry on as though it wasn't there— Rose Macaulay

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has the unerring instinct for things . . . recognized all the world over as comic. Green vegetables are always funny, and bad poets, and winter underwear, and feet— Morley

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Comical applies not so much to the character of what induces laughter as to the impression it produces upon the observer; hence, it aptly describes something which arouses spontaneous and unrestrained laughter
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the abrupt transition of her features from assured pride to ludicrous astonishment and alarm was comical enough to have sent into wild uncharitable laughter any creature less humane than Constance— Bennett

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I'm just beginning to get along with them so they don't think I'm quite so comical, and my wife comes sailing in . . . and orders me out— Faith McNulty

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Farcical is often used interchangeably with comical but it is especially appropriate when what creates amusement is, like dramatic farce, dependent upon extravagance, nonsense, practical jokes, or burlesque for the effect it produces
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boys are like monkeys ... the gravest actors of farcical nonsense that the world possesses— Meredith

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almost farcical to suppose that Henry, as a Norman prince, could not talk his own language to his Norman bride— Empson

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Droll and funny usually impute oddity or strangeness to what makes a thing laughable, but droll ordinarily carries a stronger implication of unfamiliarity, quaintness, absurdity, or intentional humorousness
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Thackeray's names, though often ludicrous, are always happy, and often inimitably drollAthenaeum

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the habit of trying to marshal all the facts, weigh them, and think things through ... is sometimes regarded as drollBunche

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and funny of queerness or curiousness
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the night mail set me down at Marwar Junction, where a funny little happy-go-lucky native-managed railway runs to Jodhpore— Kipling

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children thought he was a very funny old Chinaman, as children always think anything old and strange is funnySteinbeck

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Funny is, however, the ordinary informal term interchangeable with any other word of the group
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a funny story

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he could rarely risk being funny and lightening his deadly seriousness with comedy— Anthony West

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Analogous words: amusing, diverting, entertaining (see AMUSE): humorous, *witty, facetious, jocular, jocose
Contrasted words: solemn, *serious, grave: tedious, tiresome, wearisome, boring, *irksome: pathetic, poignant, touching, affecting, *moving, impressive

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laughable — Laugh a*ble, a. Fitted to excite laughter; as, a laughable story; a laughable scene. [1913 Webster] Syn: Droll; ludicrous; mirthful; comical. See {Droll}, and {Ludicrous}. [1913 Webster] {Laugh a*ble*ness}, n. {Laugh a*bly}, adv. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • laughable — index ludicrous Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • laughable — 1590s, from LAUGH (Cf. laugh) (v.) + ABLE (Cf. able). Related: Laughably …   Etymology dictionary

  • laughable — [adj] easily made fun of absurd, amusing, asinine, bizarre, camp, campy, comic, comical, derisive, derisory, diverting, droll, eccentric, entertaining, facetious, fantastic, farcical, funny, gelastic, har har*, hilarious, humorous, inane, jocose …   New thesaurus

  • laughable — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ so ludicrous as to be amusing. DERIVATIVES laughably adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • laughable — [laf′ə bəl] adj. 1. of such a nature as to cause laughter; amusing 2. so ridiculous as to deserve laughter or scorn; ludicrous SYN. FUNNY laughableness n. laughably adv …   English World dictionary

  • laughable — adjective Date: 1596 of a kind to provoke laughter or sometimes derision ; amusingly ridiculous • laughableness noun • laughably adverb Synonyms: laughable, ludicrous, ridiculous, comic, comical mean provoking laughter or mirth. laughable applies …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • laughable — [[t]lɑ͟ːfəb(ə)l, læ̱f [/t]] ADJ GRADED: usu v link ADJ If you say that something such as an idea or suggestion is laughable, you mean that it is so stupid as to be funny and not worth serious consideration. The idea that TV shows like Dallas or… …   English dictionary

  • laughable — adjective Fitted to excite laughter; as, a laughable story; a laughable scene. Syn: droll, ludicrous, mirthful, comical, risible …   Wiktionary

  • laughable — laugh|a|ble [ˈla:fəbəl US ˈlæ ] adj something that is laughable is impossible to believe or be serious about, because it is so silly or bad = ↑ridiculous ▪ The promises are so far from reality that they are laughable. >laughably adv …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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