A joke is something spoken, written, or done with humorous intention. Jokes may have many different forms, e.g., a single word or a gesture (considered in a particular context), a question-answer, or a whole short story. The word "joke" has a number of synonyms, including wisecrack, gag, prank, quip, jape and jest.
To achieve their end, jokes may employ irony, sarcasm, word play and other devices. Jokes may have a punch line, i.e. an ending to make it humorous.
A practical joke or prank differs from a spoken joke in that the major component of the humour is physical rather than verbal (for example placing salt in the sugar bowl).
Famous quotes containing the word joke:
“Postmodernism is among other things a sick joke at the expense of ... revolutionary avant-gardism.”
—Terry Eagleton (b. 1943)
“What a vast fraternity it is,that of Hearts that Ache. For the last three months it has seemed to me as though all society were coming to me, to drop its mask for a moment and initiate me into the mystery. How we do suffer! And we go on laughing; for, as a practical joke at our expense, life is a success.”
—Henry Brooks Adams (18381918)
“You know lots of criticism is written by characters who are very academic and think it is a sign you are worthless if you make jokes or kid or even clown. I wouldnt kid Our Lord if he was on the cross. But I would attempt a joke with him if I ran into him chasing the money changers out of the temple.”
—Ernest Hemingway (18991961)