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.]
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.]
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.”
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
hisown jest"; "even a schoolboy's jape is supposed to
have some ascertainable point" [syn: joke, gag, laugh,
2: activity characterized by good humor [syn: joke, jocularity]
v 1: tell a joke; speak humorously; "He often jokes even when he
appears serious" [syn: joke]
2: act in a funny or teasing way [syn: joke]