Definition: Comedy

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From Middle English comedie, from Middle French comedie, from Latin cōmoedia, from Ancient Greek κωμῳδία or kōmōidía, from κῶμος or kômos (revel, carousing) + either ᾠδή or ōidḗ (song) or ἀοιδός or aoidós (singer, bard), both from ἀείδω or aeídō (I sing).


comedy (countable and uncountable, plural comedies)

  1. (historical) A choric song of celebration or revel, especially in Ancient Greece.
  2. A light, amusing play with a happy ending.
    A Midsummer Night's Dream is among Shakespeare's most famous comedies.
  3. (Medieval Europe) A narrative poem with an agreeable ending (e.g., The Divine Comedy).
  4. (drama) A dramatic work that is light and humorous or satirical in tone.
  5. (drama) The genre of such works.
  6. Entertainment composed of jokes, satire, or humorous performance.
    Stand-up comedy and humorous films are the most common forms of comedy; humorous songs are underrated.
  7. The art of composing comedy.
  8. A humorous event.

Derived terms

  • black comedy
  • comedian
  • comedic
  • comedically
  • improvisational comedy
  • observational comedy
  • physical comedy
  • prop comedy
  • romantic comedy
  • screwball comedy
  • situation comedy
  • stand-up comedy

Related terms

  • comic
  • comical


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