1 noun (C)
1 STH FUNNY something that you say or do to make people laugh, especially a funny story or trick: Do you know any good jokes? | Don't get mad - it was only a joke! | crack/make a joke (=say something funny) | tell a joke (=tell a short funny story) | get the joke informal (=understand why a joke is funny) | play a joke on sb (=trick them) | dirty joke (=about sex) | sick joke (=about something unpleasant) | have a joke (=not mean something seriously): I was only having a joke!
2 STH ANNOYING informal a situation which is so silly or unreasonable that it makes you angry: The whole meeting was a complete joke.
3 go/get beyond a joke a situation that gets beyond a joke has become serious and worrying: I haven't heard from them for three weeks now - it's gone beyond a joke.
4 be no joke used to emphasize that a situation is serious or that someone really means what they say: These rail strikes every week are no joke. | it's no joke: It's no joke, I think she really means to kill herself.
5 take a joke to be able to laugh at a joke about yourself: Your problem is you just can't take a joke!
6 make a joke of to treat something serious as if it was intended to be funny: Sure, he made a joke of it but he was clearly hurt.
7 not get the joke to not understand why someone thinks a situation is funny: “Is that a proposition?” I asked, but she didn't get the joke.
8 sb's idea of a joke spoken a situation that someone else thinks is funny but you do not: I suppose hiding the car key was his idea of a joke.
9 the joke's on you/her etc used to say that the person who was trying to make other people seem silly now seems silly themselves
—see also: in­joke, practical joke, standing joke standing 1 (4) 2 verb (I)
1 to say things that are intended to be funny
(+ about/with): It's serious, Donny, don't joke about it!
2 you're joking!/you must be joking! spoken used to tell someone that what they are suggesting is so strange or silly that you cannot believe that they are serious: What! Buy a house on my salary? You must be joking!
3 only joking BrE spoken used to say that you did not really mean what you just said: Only joking, darling - I love you really!
4 joking apart/aside BrE used before you say something serious after you have been joking: Joking apart, she is a very talented painter.
— jokingly adverb

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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