Definition of comedy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkämədē/

noun (plural comedies)

1Professional entertainment consisting of jokes and satirical sketches, intended to make an audience laugh.
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.
1.1A movie, play, or broadcast program intended to make an audience laugh: a rollicking new comedy
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 programs.
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.
humor, fun, funny side, comical aspect, absurdity, drollness, farce
1.4A 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.
1.5The 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.


comedy of errors

A situation made amusing by bungling and incompetence: the comedy of errors that is Medicare’s physician payment schedule
More example sentences
  • But the offer turned into such a bizarre comedy of errors, bureaucratic incompetence, and local politics that Einstein finally turned it down and built a house on his own, in Caputh near Ferch.
  • Yesterday was a comedy of errors, with a little bit of tragedy thrown in.
  • It seems like it's a comedy of errors except it's not funny.


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'.

Words that rhyme with comedy


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·e·dy

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