Share this entry

ridicule Syllabification: rid·i·cule
Pronunciation: /ˈridiˌkyo͞ol/

Definition of ridicule in English:


The subjection of someone or something to contemptuous and dismissive language or behavior: he is held up as an object of ridicule
More example sentences
  • Sheriff William Holligan said Reilly was an object of ridicule and his treatment by officers was unprofessional.
  • A person who snores is often an object of ridicule and causes sleepless nights for others.
  • Therefore, if Rousseau were interested in spiritualism, during his lifetime it need not have made him an object of ridicule.
mockery, derision, laughter, scorn, scoffing, contempt, jeering, sneering, sneers, jibes, jibing, teasing, taunts, taunting, badinage, chaffing, sarcasm, satire
informal kidding, ribbing, joshing, goofing, razzing


[with object] Back to top  
Subject (someone or something) to contemptuous and dismissive language or behavior: his theory was ridiculed and dismissed
More example sentences
  • Singleton strikes the difficult balance between recapitulating stereotypes and ridiculing them in broad burlesque.
  • The man was ridiculed, his claims dismissed, and his ethics attacked.
  • It is a noble and powerful impulse, one not casually to be ridiculed or dismissed.
deride, mock, laugh at, heap scorn on/upon, jeer at, jibe at, sneer at, treat with contempt, scorn, make fun of, poke fun at, scoff at, satirize, lampoon, burlesque, caricature, parody, tease, taunt, chaff
informal kid, rib, josh, razz


Late 17th century: from French, or from Latin ridiculum, neuter (used as a noun) of ridiculus 'laughable', from ridere 'to laugh'.

Words that rhyme with ridicule

granule • capsule • molecule

Definition of ridicule in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful