Share this entry

Share this page

comedy

Line breaks: com¦edy
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmɪdi
 
/

Definition of comedy in English:

noun (plural comedies)

1 [mass noun] Professional entertainment consisting of jokes and sketches, intended to make an audience laugh: a cabaret with music, dancing, and comedy the show combines theatre with the best of stand-up comedy
More example sentences
  • The female menopause, with its hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings, offers rich pickings for jokes and comedy sketches.
  • The Christchurch gang show is one of the longest running in Britain, and features a cast of 60 who will present an extravaganza of songs, sketches and stand-up comedy.
  • It has set a new standard for televised sketch comedy and stand-up.
1.1 [count noun] A film, play, or broadcast programme intended to make an audience laugh: [as modifier]: a comedy film
More example sentences
  • Setting the play in the 1930s, she took her inspiration primarily from classical Hollywood screwball comedies and films noirs.
  • I had already explored the documentary world at the limits of fiction, and, in fictional films, had explored comedies and thrillers.
  • The film is a comedy, but rarely relies on outright gags for laughs.
1.2The style or genre represented by comedy films, plays, and broadcast programmes: the conventions of romantic comedy have grown more appealing with the passage of time
More example sentences
  • He has sold short stories in a range of genres, including romantic comedy, science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
  • Within the genre of romantic comedy, so many female leads spend entire films longing and pining for the ‘right one’.
  • It respects the genre of romantic comedy while adding a unique flavor.
1.3The humorous or amusing aspects of something: advertising people see the comedy in their work
More example sentences
  • Because after all, a very serious subject like war was getting treated with comedy, as a sit-com, after all.
  • He simply wrote himself into a corner, cranking up the tension and comedy of the situation to a peak he didn't have the imagination to surmount.
  • Yet she clearly relishes creating comedy from situations which, on one level, are deeply tragic.
Synonyms
humour, fun, funny side, comical aspect, funniness, ludicrousness, absurdity, absurdness, drollness, farce
2A play characterized by its humorous or satirical tone and its depiction of amusing people or incidents, in which the characters ultimately triumph over adversity: Shakespeare’s comedies
More example sentences
  • It stuck to its well-tried popular repertory of melodramas, comedies, and musicals, though both theatres scheduled touring opera companies throughout the year.
  • On stage he has played character roles in farces, pantomime, comedies and serious drama.
  • Just as the Fool is the wisest character in Shakespeare's comedies, so he pretends to be dim when he's being pin sharp.
2.1The dramatic genre represented by comedies: satiric comedy Compare with tragedy (sense 2).
More example sentences
  • Despite the undeniable influence of earlier models, Shakespearian comedy represents a distinctive dramatic category.
  • As she gears up for her latest dramatic role, Ramsahai has noted that local audiences love drama but most theatrical offerings in this country are in the comedy genre.
  • The play moves away from the comedy and romance genres, and moves into the world of writing.

Origin

late Middle English (as a genre of drama, also denoting a narrative poem with a happy ending, as in Dante's Divine Comedy): from Old French comedie, via Latin from Greek kōmōidia, from kōmōidos 'comic poet', from kōmos 'revel' + aoidos 'singer'.

Derivatives

comedic

1
Pronunciation: /kəˈmiːdɪk, -ˈmɛ-/
adjective
Example sentences
  • Are you conscious of having a different comedic sensibility than the other guys?
  • Instead I started laughing at the ridiculous articles and comedic nature of the entire magazine.
  • But there have also been moments of unintended comedic brilliance straight out of a Monty Python sketch.

Words that rhyme with comedy

tragicomedy

Definition of comedy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…