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Related to laugh: laugh track
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a laugh

1. An instance of laughter. Once I got a laugh from the audience, I started to feel more relaxed about giving my presentation. I need a laugh after the tough week I've had. Any funny TV shows you can recommend? Tom is pretty much the court jester in our office. You can always count on him for a laugh.
2. An instance of lighthearted amusement or mirth. Ah, don't be upset, we were only having a laugh! This show is always good for a laugh, so I put it on whenever I'm feeling down. I sang karaoke just for a laugh—I never expected to get a round of applause!
3. A fun or enjoyable experience. Come with us to the party tonight. I'm sure it will be a laugh. I love hanging out with my old schooltime friends—we always have a laugh when we get together. How can you have a laugh when you know those jerks are going to be there?
4. Something absurdly inadequate, defective, or idiotic. Their customer service is a total laugh. I was on the phone for nearly two hours just to be told that they couldn't identify the problem and wouldn't help me any further. I hated every minute of my stay there, so the 10% service charge they added automatically to my bill was quite a laugh. Well, that's a real laugh—I spent nearly $800 on this phone, and it stopped working after just a month!
See also: laugh

laugh in (one's) sleeve

To rejoice or be amused secretly and contemptuously, as at another's mistakes or misfortunes. Though feigning sympathy, my colleagues are all laughing in their sleeves at me for being stood up at the altar by my fiancée. I know it's mean-spirited, but I can't help but laugh in my sleeve when I see someone slip on the icy streets.
See also: laugh, sleeve

laugh up (one's) sleeve

1. To try to hide that one is laughing at someone else. Ron may seem like a nice guy, but he laughs up his sleeve whenever he's around someone he dislikes. The popular kids laugh up their sleeves every time I walk by—it's so infuriating.
2. To rejoice or be amused secretly and contemptuously, as at another's mistakes or misfortunes. Though they are feigning sympathy, I'm sure my colleagues are all laughing up their sleeves at me for being chewed out by the boss. I know it is mean spirited, but I cannot help but laugh up my sleeve when I see someone slip on the icy streets.
See also: laugh, sleeve, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


up/in (one's) sleeve
To rejoice or exult in secret, as at another's error or defeat.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Suddenly Joey was standing beside us, it could not have been more sudden though he had come from beneath the table, and he was wearing his pantomime clothes (which he told us afterward were the only clothes he had) and his red and white face was so funny that David made gurgling sounds, which were his laugh trying to force a passage.
Joey thought he had toothache, so I explained what it really meant, and then Joey said, "Oh, I shall soon make him laugh," whereupon the following conversation took place between them:
No more does his infernal laugh go echoing among the hills, and no more does his fat moon-face rise up to vex me.
ha!" he laughed. "The funniest tike, that youngster of mine!
But observing that she and the others had begun to laugh, he too opened his mouth and laughed with them.
Epanchin a little, and amused the girls; they bowed and shook hands with some of their friends and nodded at a distance to others; they examined the ladies' dresses, noticed comicalities and eccentricities among the people, and laughed and talked among themselves.
Then the Sheriff laughed again, but not as though he liked the jest, while the butchers said, one to another, "Before Heaven, never have we seen such a mad rollicking blade.
I laughed, and started to draw on to the foot a silk stocking, while Mlle.
"There's no difference," he replied, beginning to laugh again.
But the thing that made Will laugh most was, that the very fellow who did it got his trousers burnt trying to put out the fire, and he asked the is it Faculty or President?
Like cats they curve their backs, they purr inwardly with their approaching happiness,-- all good things laugh.
And she was so un-hysterical and natural and childish that she brought him to his senses and he began to laugh at himself and a few minutes afterward she was sitting on her stool again telling him not what she imagined the secret garden to be like but what it really was, and Colin's aches and tiredness were forgotten and he was listening enraptured.
It was a great while since D'Artagnan had laughed so long together.
I haf seen dot beast throw himself back in his chair and laugh when Bertran haf made fun of me.
Griffiths laughed, and Philip saw that Mildred noticed how white and regular his teeth were and how pleasant his smile.