- laughtre (obsolete)
From Middle English laughter, laghter, laȝter, from Old English hleahtor (“laughter, jubilation, derision”), from Proto-Germanic *hlahtraz (“laughter”), from Proto-Indo-European *klek-, *kleg- (“to shout”). Cognate with German Gelächter (“laughter, hilarity, merriment”), Danish and Norwegian latter (“laughter”), Icelandic hlátur (“laughter”). More at laugh.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈlɑːftə/
- (General American) enPR: lăfʹtər, IPA(key): /ˈlæftɚ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɑːftə(ɹ), -æftə(ɹ)
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- The sound of laughing, produced by air so expelled; any similar sound.
- Their loud laughter betrayed their presence.
- A movement (usually involuntary) of the muscles of the laughing face, particularly of the lips, and of the whole body, 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.
- 1650, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica: […], 2nd edition, London: […] A. Miller, for Edw[ard] Dod and Nath[aniel] Ekins, […], OCLC 152706203:
- The act of laughter, which is caused by 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.
- 1858 October 16, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, in The Courtship of Miles Standish, and Other Poems, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, OCLC 51433663:
- Archly the maiden smiled, and with eyes overrunning with laughter.
- (archaic) A reason for merriment.
Laughter is statistically the happiest English language word on Twitter according to the Hedonometer, an online tool that measures happiness, with an overall happiness score of 8.5 out of 9, followed by happiness, which scored 8.44, and love, which scored 8.42.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- (Early ME) lehter, lihter, leihter, lahter, leahter, hleiter
- lauhtre, laghter, laȝter, lauȝter, laughtere, lauȝtere, laghtre, laughtre, leiȝtir, laȝtir, lauȝtur, laughtir
laughter (plural laughtres)
- Laughter; the production of laughs or snickers.
- a. 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “Book IV”, in Troilus and Criseyde, line 862-868:
- She was right swich to seen in hir visage / As is that wight that men on bere binde / Hir face, lyk of Paradys the image / Was al y-chaunged in another kinde. / The pleye, the laughtre men was wont to finde / On hir, and eek hir Ioyes everychone, / Ben fled, and thus lyth now Criseyde allone.
- She was such to see in her visage / like that woman that men on a bier notice; / Her face which was the image of Paradise / had totally changed to another kind; / the play, the laughter men tended to find / on her, and all her joys as well / had left, and there Cressida now lies alone.
- An instance or bout of laughing or laughter.
- A humorous matter; something worthy of being derided.