From Middle English humorous (compare Medieval Latin hūmorōsus), equivalent to humor +‎ -ous.



humorous (comparative more humorous, superlative most humorous)

  1. Full of humor or arousing laughter; funny.
    The waiters were so humorous - one even did a backflip for us, when we asked him.
  2. Showing humor; witty, jocular.
  3. (obsolete) Damp or watery.
  4. (obsolete) Dependent on or caused by one's humour or mood; capricious, whimsical.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, “Of the affection of fathers to their children”, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821, page 212:
      It is a melancholy humor [] that firſt put this humorous conceipt [transl. resverie] of writing into my head.
    • 1861, Elizabeth Gaskell, The Grey Woman
      I felt at this time as if I could have been fond of him too, if he would have let me; but I was timid from my childhood, and before long my dread of his displeasure [] conquered my humorous inclination to love one who was so handsome, so accomplished, so indulgent and devoted.

Usage notesEdit

While the spelling humour is preferred over humor in British English, humorous is standard in both American and British English, and humourous is nonstandard.


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