Laughter Laugh"ter, n. [AS. hleahtor; akin to OHG. hlahtar, G. gel["a]chter, Icel. hl[=a]tr, Dan. latter. See {Laugh}, v. i. ] A movement (usually involuntary) of the muscles of the face, particularly of the lips, with a peculiar expression of the eyes, indicating merriment, satisfaction, or derision, and usually attended by a sonorous and interrupted expulsion of air from the lungs. See {Laugh}, v. i. [1913 Webster]

The act of laughter, which is a sweet contraction of the muscles of the face, and a pleasant agitation of the vocal organs, is not merely, or totally within the jurisdiction of ourselves. --Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster]

Archly the maiden smiled, and with eyes overrunning with laughter. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • laughter — [laf′tər, läf′tər] n. [ME < OE hleahtor (akin to Ger gelächter) < base of hleahhan, to LAUGH] 1. the action of laughing or the sound resulting 2. an indication of amusement [with laughter in her eyes] 3. Archaic a matter for or cause of… …   English World dictionary

  • laughter — late 14c., from O.E. hleahtor, from P.Gmc. *hlahtraz (Cf. O.N. hlatr, Dan. latter, O.H.G. lahtar, Ger. Gelächter); see LAUGH (Cf. laugh) (v.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • laughter — ► NOUN ▪ the action or sound of laughing …   English terms dictionary

  • Laughter — For other uses, see Laughter (disambiguation). Laugh redirects here. For other uses, see Laugh (disambiguation). Snicker redirects here. For other uses, see Snickers (disambiguation). A man laughing Laughing is a reaction to certain stimuli,… …   Wikipedia

  • laughter — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ hearty, helpless, hysterical, insane, loud, maniacal (esp. AmE), raucous, uncontrollable, uproarious, wild …   Collocations dictionary

  • laughter — Synonyms and related words: Homeric laughter, amusement, belly laugh, boff, boffola, burst of laughter, cachinnation, cackle, chortle, chortling, chuckle, convulsion, crow, fit of laughter, frivolity, fun, gales of laughter, giggle, glee,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • laughter — n. 1) to cause, provoke laughter 2) contagious, infectious; convulsive; derisive; hearty, loud, raucous, uproarious; sardonic; subdued laughter 3) a burst, fit, gale; ripple of laughter 4) (misc.) to double up with laughter * * * [ lɑːftə]… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • laughter — laugh|ter [ˈla:ftə US ˈlæftər] n [U] [: Old English; Origin: hleahtor] when people laugh, or the sound of people laughing ▪ Foster joined in the laughter. ▪ He looked shocked, then burst into laughter (=started laughing) . roar/scream/shriek with …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • laughter — [[t]lɑ͟ːftə(r), læ̱f [/t]] ♦♦♦ 1) N UNCOUNT Laughter is the sound of people laughing, for example because they are amused or happy. Their laughter filled the corridor... He delivered the line perfectly, and everybody roared with laughter.… …   English dictionary

  • laughter — We laugh at things that are laughable, but also laugh exultantly at a success, or bitterly at a failure, or at the unexpected or even the typical. We may even laugh but not at anything with pure joy, or nervousness, or embarrassment, or merely… …   Philosophy dictionary

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