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1. The act of using words, gestures, images, or other products of expression to evoke laughter or contemptuous feelings regarding a person or thing: a remark that invited the ridicule of his classmates.
2. The words or other products of expression used in this way: was subjected to a torrent of ridicule.
tr.v. rid·i·culed, rid·i·cul·ing, rid·i·cules
To expose to ridicule; make fun of.

[French, from Latin rīdiculum, joke, from neuter of rīdiculus, laughable; see ridiculous.]

rid′i·cul′er n.
Synonyms: ridicule, mock, taunt1, deride
These verbs refer to making another the butt of amusement or mirth. Ridicule implies purposeful disparagement: "My father discouraged me by ridiculing my performances" (Benjamin Franklin).
To mock is to poke fun at someone, often by mimicking and caricaturing speech or actions: "the bear ... [devoured] the children who mocked God's servant Elisha for his baldness" (Garrison Keillor).
Taunt suggests mocking, insulting, or scornful reproach: "taunting him with want of courage to leap into the great pit" (Daniel Defoe).
Deride implies scorn and contempt: "Was all the world in a conspiracy to deride his failure?" (Edith Wharton).
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.


language or behaviour intended to humiliate or mock; derision
(tr) to make fun of, mock, or deride
[C17: from French, from Latin rīdiculus, from rīdēre to laugh]
ˈridiˌculer n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈrɪd ɪˌkyul)

n., v. -culed, -cul•ing. n.
1. speech or action intended to cause contemptuous laughter; derision.
2. to make fun of.
[1665–75; < Latin rīdiculum a joke <rīdēre to laugh]
rid′i•cul`er, n.
syn: ridicule, deride, mock, taunt mean to make fun of a person. To ridicule is to make fun of, either playfully or with the intention of humiliating: to ridicule a pretentious person. To deride is to laugh at scornfully: a student derided for acting silly. To mock is to make fun of by imitating another: She mocked his surprised expression. To taunt is to call attention to something annoying or humiliating, usu. maliciously and in front of others: The bully taunted the smaller boy.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also INSULT.)

give the gleek To poke fun at; to mock or ridicule. In this expression, gleek carries its archaic meaning of a joke or jest, thus giving the obsolete phrase its figurative sense of harmless teasing.

Sir Thomas, seeing the exceeding vanity of the man, thought he needed modesty, and gave him this gentle gleek. (Christopher Wordsworth, Ecclesiastical Biography, 1599)

laugh in one’s sleeve To laugh surreptitiously; to be secretly amused or contemptuous; to ridicule in secret. This expression alludes to the popular 16th-century Englishman’s garb which included sleeves large enough to hide a person’s face so that he could smile or laugh covertly.

If I coveted now to avenge the injuries that you have done me, I might laugh in my sleeve. (John Daus, A Famous Chronicle of Our Times Called Sleidane’s Commentaries, 1560)

The French equivalent is rire sous cape ‘laugh in one’s cape, ’ referring to a French nobleman’s cape which could serve the same purpose as an Englishman’s sleeve. Another variation which arose in Spain at about the same time is laugh in one’s beard, implying that a beard could be used to hide the expression on one’s face.

laugh like a drain See HUMOROUSNESS.

nine tailors make a man An expression of contempt and derision, usually used in the context of ridiculing someone’s physical stature. Since it was medieval custom to mark the death of a man with nine tolls of the church bell, a woman with six, and a child with three, this obsolete British invective is probably a corruption of nine tellers mark a man, teller being a variation of toller ‘a knell.’ As the expression became more common, however, the original meaning was lost, being replaced by the stereotypic concept of tailors as being so feeble and physically degenerate that it would take nine of them to equal one man of normal size and strength. The Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) tells of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) who, upon receiving a delegation of eighteen tailors, greeted them with royal wit: “Good morning, gentlemen both.”

quote-unquote So-called; thus designated. This expression is currently becoming more widely used in American speech, usually in a sarcastic, derogatory, or denigrating reference to a person’s or group’s appellation, especially one that is self-assumed. Quote-unquote is a verbal representation of quotation marks (“ ”) which, in writing, are placed around usually complimentary word(s) that are intentionally used cynically or disparagingly. For example, the term might be heard in a context like “The politician dreaded the thought of again having to meet with the quote-unquote pillars of society.”

roast To mock brutally or ridicule; to criticize severely or put down; to dress down, to take down a peg. This relatively recent American colloquialism is a term which, like cook, burn, and heat, is heard in expressions that create an image of discomfort or destruction.

If he were to roast our Skinski it might hurt our business. (Hugh McHugh, You Can Search Me, 1905)

tongue in cheek Sarcastically, insincerely; not seriously, deadpan; mockingly, derisively. The origin of the term is uncertain.

There was no speaking “with his tongue in the cheek.” He spoke straight from the heart. (Sir E. W. Hamilton, Gladstone, 1898)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle: ridiculed
Gerund: ridiculing

I ridicule
you ridicule
he/she/it ridicules
we ridicule
you ridicule
they ridicule
I ridiculed
you ridiculed
he/she/it ridiculed
we ridiculed
you ridiculed
they ridiculed
Present Continuous
I am ridiculing
you are ridiculing
he/she/it is ridiculing
we are ridiculing
you are ridiculing
they are ridiculing
Present Perfect
I have ridiculed
you have ridiculed
he/she/it has ridiculed
we have ridiculed
you have ridiculed
they have ridiculed
Past Continuous
I was ridiculing
you were ridiculing
he/she/it was ridiculing
we were ridiculing
you were ridiculing
they were ridiculing
Past Perfect
I had ridiculed
you had ridiculed
he/she/it had ridiculed
we had ridiculed
you had ridiculed
they had ridiculed
I will ridicule
you will ridicule
he/she/it will ridicule
we will ridicule
you will ridicule
they will ridicule
Future Perfect
I will have ridiculed
you will have ridiculed
he/she/it will have ridiculed
we will have ridiculed
you will have ridiculed
they will have ridiculed
Future Continuous
I will be ridiculing
you will be ridiculing
he/she/it will be ridiculing
we will be ridiculing
you will be ridiculing
they will be ridiculing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been ridiculing
you have been ridiculing
he/she/it has been ridiculing
we have been ridiculing
you have been ridiculing
they have been ridiculing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been ridiculing
you will have been ridiculing
he/she/it will have been ridiculing
we will have been ridiculing
you will have been ridiculing
they will have been ridiculing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been ridiculing
you had been ridiculing
he/she/it had been ridiculing
we had been ridiculing
you had been ridiculing
they had been ridiculing
I would ridicule
you would ridicule
he/she/it would ridicule
we would ridicule
you would ridicule
they would ridicule
Past Conditional
I would have ridiculed
you would have ridiculed
he/she/it would have ridiculed
we would have ridiculed
you would have ridiculed
they would have ridiculed
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ridicule - language or behavior intended to mock or humiliateridicule - language or behavior intended to mock or humiliate
discourtesy, disrespect - an expression of lack of respect
2.ridicule - the act of deriding or treating with contempt
offense, offensive activity, discourtesy, offence - a lack of politeness; a failure to show regard for others; wounding the feelings or others
mock - the act of mocking or ridiculing; "they made a mock of him"
Verb1.ridicule - subject to laughter or ridiculeridicule - subject to laughter or ridicule; "The satirists ridiculed the plans for a new opera house"; "The students poked fun at the inexperienced teacher"; "His former students roasted the professor at his 60th birthday"
bemock, mock - treat with contempt; "The new constitution mocks all democratic principles"
tease - mock or make fun of playfully; "the flirting man teased the young woman"
lampoon, satirise, satirize - ridicule with satire; "The writer satirized the politician's proposal"
debunk, expose - expose while ridiculing; especially of pretentious or false claims and ideas; "The physicist debunked the psychic's claims"
stultify - cause to appear foolish; "He stultified himself by contradicting himself and being inconsistent"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. laugh at, mock, make fun of, make a fool of, humiliate, taunt, sneer at, parody, caricature, jeer at, scoff at, deride, send up (Brit. informal), lampoon, poke fun at, take the piss (out of) (taboo slang), chaff, take the mickey out of (informal), satirize, pooh-pooh, laugh out of court, make a monkey out of, make someone a laughing stock, laugh to scorn I admire her for allowing them to ridicule her.
1. mockery, scorn, derision, laughter, irony, rib, taunting, sneer, satire, jeer, banter, sarcasm, chaff, gibe, raillery He was subjected to public ridicule.
Related words
fear katagelophobia
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


Words or actions intended to evoke contemptuous laughter:
To make fun or make fun of:
Chiefly British: quiz.
Idiom: poke fun at.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
سُخْرِيَه، إسْتِهْزاءيَسْخَر، يَهْزَأ مِن
posměchsmát sevysmívat se
gøre nar afgrine aflatterliggørelse
gera grín aî; hæîast aîháî, aîhlátur


A. Nirrisión f, burla f
to expose sb to public ridiculeexponer a algn a la mofa pública
to hold sth/sb up to ridiculeponer algo/a algn en ridículo
to lay o.s. open to ridiculeexponerse al ridículo
B. VTdejar or poner en ridículo, ridiculizar
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


ndérision f
to be an object of ridicule → être un objet de risée
She was an object of ridicule with her classmates → Elle était la risée de ses camarades de classe.
to hold sb/sth up to ridicule → tourner qn/qch en ridicule
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nSpott m; to hold somebody/something up to ridiculesich über jdn/etw lustig machen; she’s an object of ridiculealles macht sich über sie lustig; to become an object of ridiculeder Lächerlichkeit preisgegeben werden
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. nridicolo
to hold sb/sth up to ridicule → mettere in ridicolo qn/qc
2. vtridicolizzare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(rəˈdikjuləs) adjective
very silly; deserving to be laughed at. That's a ridiculous suggestion; You look ridiculous in that hat!
riˈdiculously adverb
riˈdiculousness noun
ridicule (ˈridikjuːl) verb
to laugh at; to mock. They ridiculed him because he was wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe.
laughter at someone or something; mockery. Despite the ridicule of his neighbours he continued to build a spaceship in his garden.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
On peut etre jaloux, mais a ce point, c'est du dernier ridicule!"
I hope, therefore, no man will, by the grossest misunderstanding or perversion of my meaning, misrepresent me, as endeavouring to cast any ridicule on the greatest perfections of human nature; and which do, indeed, alone purify and ennoble the heart of man, and raise him above the brute creation.
The critics, therefore, are in error who censure these licenses of speech, and hold the author up to ridicule. Thus Eucleides, the elder, declared that it would be an easy matter to be a poet if you might lengthen syllables at will.
The dancing spectacle thus came to an end amidst the laughter and ridicule of the audience.
"How sad that so justly famous a satirist should mar his work by ridicule of people with long noses - who are the salt of the earth!"
But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule."
The court made songs on the Parisians and the Parisians on the court; and the casualties, though not mortal, were painful, as are all wounds inflicted by the weapon of ridicule.
It is all because we want to ape the foolish enthusiasm of those Muscovites," Prince Vasili continued, forgetting for a moment that though at Helene's one had to ridicule the Moscow enthusiasm, at Anna Pavlovna's one had to be ecstatic about it.
He poured out rivers of ridicule upon them, and forced the big mass meeting to laugh and applaud.
Thus Cedric, who dried his hands with a towel, instead of suffering the moisture to exhale by waving them gracefully in the air, incurred more ridicule than his companion Athelstane, when he swallowed to his own single share the whole of a large pasty composed of the most exquisite foreign delicacies, and termed at that time a Karum-Pie.
The moral anarchy of the period is most strikingly exhibited in its drama, particularly in its comedy and 'comedy of manners.' These plays, dealing mostly with love-actions in the setting of the Court or of fashionable London life, and carrying still further the general spirit of those of Fletcher and Shirley a generation or two earlier, deliberately ridicule moral principles and institutions, especially marriage, and are always in one degree or another grossly indecent.
A satire is, you remember, a work which holds up folly or wickedness to ridicule. He meant to show the High Churchmen how absurd and wicked was their desire to punish the Dissenters for worshiping God in their own way.