- a joke or witty remark; witticism.
- a bantering remark; a piece of good-natured ridicule; taunt.
- sport or fun: to speak half in jest, half in earnest.
- the object of laughter, sport, or mockery; laughing-stock.
- Obsolete. an exploit.Compare gest.
verb (used without object)
- to speak in a playful, humorous, or facetious way; joke.
- to speak or act in mere sport, rather than in earnest; trifle (often followed by with): Please don’t jest with me.
- to utter derisive speeches; gibe or scoff.
verb (used with object)
- to deride or joke at; banter.
- something done or said for amusement; joke
- a frivolous mood or attitude; playfulness; funto act in jest
- a jeer or taunt
- an object of derision; laughing stock; butt
- to act or speak in an amusing, teasing, or frivolous way; joke
- to make fun of (a person or thing); scoff or mock
early 13c., geste, “narrative of exploits,” from Old French geste “action, exploit,” from Latin gesta “deeds,” neuter plural of gestus, past participle of gerere “to carry, behave, act, perform” (see gest). Sense descended through “idle tale” (late 15c.) to “mocking speech, raillery” (1540s) to “joke” (1550s).
1520s, “to speak in a trifling manner;” 1550s, “to joke,” from Middle English gesten “recite a tale” (late 14c.), from geste (see jest (n.)). Sense of “to speak in a trifling manner” is from 1520s. Related: Jested; jesting.