Find the word definition

Crossword clues for humor

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Humor \Hu"mor\, n. [OE. humour, OF. humor, umor, F. humeur, L. humor, umor, moisture, fluid, fr. humere, umere, to be moist. See Humid.] [Written also humour.]

  1. Moisture, especially, the moisture or fluid of animal bodies, as the chyle, lymph, etc.; as, the humors of the eye, etc.

    Note: The ancient physicians believed that there were four humors (the blood, phlegm, yellow bile or choler, and black bile or melancholy), on the relative proportion of which the temperament and health depended.

  2. (Med.) A vitiated or morbid animal fluid, such as often causes an eruption on the skin. ``A body full of humors.''
    --Sir W. Temple.

  3. State of mind, whether habitual or temporary (as formerly supposed to depend on the character or combination of the fluids of the body); disposition; temper; mood; as, good humor; ill humor.

    Examine how your humor is inclined, And which the ruling passion of your mind.

    A prince of a pleasant humor.

    I like not the humor of lying.

  4. pl. Changing and uncertain states of mind; caprices; freaks; vagaries; whims.

    Is my friend all perfection, all virtue and discretion? Has he not humors to be endured?

  5. That quality of the imagination which gives to ideas an incongruous or fantastic turn, and tends to excite laughter or mirth by ludicrous images or representations; a playful fancy; facetiousness.

    For thy sake I admit That a Scot may have humor, I'd almost said wit.

    A great deal of excellent humor was expended on the perplexities of mine host.
    --W. Irving.

    Aqueous humor, Crystalline humor or Crystalline lens, Vitreous humor. (Anat.) See Eye.

    Out of humor, dissatisfied; displeased; in an unpleasant frame of mind.

    Syn: Wit; satire; pleasantry; temper; disposition; mood; frame; whim; fancy; caprice. See Wit.


Humor \Hu"mor\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Humored; p. pr. & vb. n. Humoring.]

  1. To comply with the humor of; to adjust matters so as suit the peculiarities, caprices, or exigencies of; to adapt one's self to; to indulge by skillful adaptation; as, to humor the mind.

    It is my part to invent, and the musician's to humor that invention.

  2. To help on by indulgence or compliant treatment; to soothe; to gratify; to please.

    You humor me when I am sick.

    Syn: To gratify; to indulge. See Gratify.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c., "fluid or juice of an animal or plant," from Old North French humour (Old French humor; Modern French humeur), from Latin umor "body fluid" (also humor, by false association with humus "earth"); related to umere "be wet, moist," and to uvescere "become wet," from PIE *wegw- "wet."\n

\nIn ancient and medieval physiology, "any of the four body fluids" (blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy or black bile) whose relative proportions were thought to determine state of mind. This led to a sense of "mood, temporary state of mind" (first recorded 1520s); the sense of "amusing quality, funniness" is first recorded 1680s, probably via sense of "whim, caprice" (1560s), which also produced the verb sense of "indulge," first attested 1580s. "The pronunciation of the initial h is only of recent date, and is sometimes omitted ...." [OED] For types of humor, see the useful table below, from H.W. Fowler ["Modern English Usage," 1926].\n

\n\n\n\ndevice\nHUMOR\nWIT\nSATIRE\nSARCASM\nINVECTIVE\n\nIRONY\nCYNICISM\nSARDONIC\n\n\nmotive/aim\ndiscovery\nthrowing light\namendment\ninflicting pain\n\ndiscredit\nexclusiveness\nself-justification\nself-relief\n\n\nprovince\nhuman nature\nwords & ideas\n\nmorals & manners\nfaults & foibles\nmisconduct\nstatement of facts\nmorals\nadversity\n\n\nmethod/means\n\nobservation\nsurprise\naccentuation\ninversion\ndirect statement\nmystification\nexposure of nakedness\npessimism\n\n\n\naudience\nthe sympathetic\nthe intelligent\nthe self-satisfied\nvictim & bystander\nthe public\nan inner circle\nthe respectable\n\nthe self\n\n


1580s; see humor (n.). Related: Humored; humoring.


n. (alternative spelling of humour from=American spelling English) vb. (alternative spelling of humour from=American spelling English)


v. put into a good mood [syn: humour]

  1. n. a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter [syn: wit, humour, witticism, wittiness]

  2. the trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous; "she didn't appreciate my humor"; "you can't survive in the army without a sense of humor" [syn: humour, sense of humor, sense of humour]

  3. a characteristic (habitual or relatively temporary) state of feeling; "whether he praised or cursed me depended on his temper at the time"; "he was in a bad humor" [syn: temper, mood, humour]

  4. the quality of being funny; "I fail to see the humor in it" [syn: humour]

  5. (Middle Ages) one of the four fluids in the body whose balance was believed to determine your emotional and physical state; "the humors are blood and phlegm and yellow and black bile" [syn: humour]

  6. the liquid parts of the body [syn: liquid body substance, bodily fluid, body fluid, humour]


Usage examples of "humor".

Our little theme song-9t Bannerman was in good THE DouBLE ImAGE 255 humor again.

Unlike Barger, Frank had a wry sense of humor and a very sophisticated instinct for self-preservation.

Captain Baster, in the strong facetious vein, enlivened the walk with his delightful humor.

He was fond of exercising hospitality, and he confessed to Bernard that he was just now in the humor for having his house full of people.

Terry Bisson writes science fiction, it is full of detail and fascination with how things work, with deadpan humor, wit, and stylish grace.

The flesh was weary, the spirit faint, and I was getting out of humor with the bustling busy throng through which I had to struggle, when in a fit of desperation I tore my way through the crowd, plunged into a by-lane, and, after passing through several obscure nooks and angles, emerged into a quaint and quiet court with a grassplot in the centre overhung by elms, and kept perpetually fresh and green by a fountain with its sparkling jet of water.

It is also powerful in eliminating those morbid humors which are afterwards subjected to excretion through various organs.

He beamed at Diccon, his whole well-corseted person excuding good humor.

Solovievs and the description of a big symphony concert in Moscow about 1900 are masterpieces of verbal expressiveness, delicate realism, and delightful humor.

The money levied, or rather extorted, under color of prerogative, had come in very slowly, and had left such ill humor in the nation, that it appeared dangerous to renew the experiment.

Dick and has been one of the finest mannerist stylists of SF dark humor for more than forty years.

He managed a wry grin, suddenly feeling marginally more in control with the infusion of a little humor into the situation.

Her endless questions were laced with humor and a sweetness that moved the merman more than he wanted to admit.

Humor is a dual faculty, as much misconceived by those who listen as by those who speak.

This woman has far too much of the fiery humors in her to permit the submissive state required for proper mollification of the bones.