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Laughter   Listen
noun
Laughter  n.  A movement (usually involuntary) of the muscles of the face, particularly of the lips, with a peculiar expression of the eyes, indicating merriment, satisfaction, or derision, and usually attended by a sonorous and interrupted expulsion of air from the lungs. See Laugh, v. i. "The act of laughter, which is a sweet contraction of the muscles of the face, and a pleasant agitation of the vocal organs, is not merely, or totally within the jurisdiction of ourselves." "Archly the maiden smiled, and with eyes overrunning with laughter."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Laughter" Quotes from Famous Books



... the Preacher you may know a man by his laughter," Mr. Clarkson murmured, while the red-faced man patted him amicably ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... who had fallen back on the heather, and was kicking up his heels, as he roared with laughter,—"no, it isn't a water-hen; it's a cock." The forester took up the bird he had hooked, and examined its drenched feathers and comb before letting its head swing ...
— Three Boys - or the Chiefs of the Clan Mackhai • George Manville Fenn

... go the wrestlers below, with loud shouts and laughter. I give them one eye and ear,—Can Grande has ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... out aloud; and the Dutchman cackled with laughter. "You're no Frenchman, boy!" he loudly asserted in English. "Now we've got at your own jargon. Go away, Mister Pelle, you're frightening our British baby. Or is ...
— A Soldier of the Legion • C. N. Williamson

... her head. Then they waltzed off. Henderson stood at the side watching the whirling crowd. The vivid reds and yellows and greens of the costumes blended harmoniously in a swirl of color that seemed a part of the music, the laughter, and the splendor of the night. Just then the couple passed, the man talking intently, the girl with her head bowed, saying nothing. As the dance ended, Henderson was about to go up and accost an attractive looking shepherdess, when ...
— A Williams Anthology - A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College, 1798-1910 • Compiled by Edwin Partridge Lehman and Julian Park

... all, there was a certain daintiness about the girl, and her frank appreciation of the good things set before her only amused him. She was certainly much more amusing than Agatha had been since she came out to Canada, and her cheerful laughter had a pleasant ring. When at length the meal was over she bade him draw her chair ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... audacious creature," said Sonia, and the triviality of the remark sent Edith into wild laughter. She would like ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... women's windows, to be saluted, as you deserve it richly, with a piss-pot. If I had not known you casually by your shambling gait, and a certain reverend awkwardness that is natural to all of your function, here you had been exposed to the laughter of your own servants; who have been in search of you through the whole seraglio, peeping under every petticoat to ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... with agony and fear. At last he caught a glimpse of them, and springing up, began to shout at the top of his voice, and wave his handkerchief and his arms in the hope of attracting their attention. Little thought those blithe merry-hearted boys in the midst of the happy laughter which they sent ringing over the waters, little they thought how terrible a ...
— Eric • Frederic William Farrar

... with youthful laughter as she read it, the echoes of her merriment sounding through the empty halls. She doubled her little fist and shook it toward the candle, flickering low ...
— Little Miss By-The-Day • Lucille Van Slyke

... from the clouds. This hush of the storm was oppressive more to Harrington than the lady. She was languid and dreamy lying upon her couch of dry leaves, very feeble and weeping quietly without a sob, like a helpless child who has no language but tears and laughter. In this entire prostration of the nervous system, she forgot—if she had ever been conscious of the words that filled him with a ...
— Mabel's Mistake • Ann S. Stephens

... manly shoulder. Her fun-loving spirit could not resist the ludicrous appearance of Cousin Jehoiakim, perched upon the top of our pung like some immense bird of prey. Brother Dick joined in her pealing, merry laughter, and the old woods rang again. The stump of a tree grew at the road-side, near an immense snow-bank. Edgar, as though he had been on the look-out for such a fine opportunity, speedily and dexterously ran one runner of our pung over the stump, and over went the pung. ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848 • Various

... court-doings, now—writs, and ejectments, and enough red seals to run the King's court itself. But while the Yorkers are red-sealing us, we'll blue-seal them—if they come over here, eh?" and he went off with a great shout of laughter at his own punning. ...
— With Ethan Allen at Ticonderoga • W. Bert Foster

... which no idea is attached. What the will is, and in what manner it moves the body, every one is ignorant, for those who pretend otherwise, and devise seats and dwelling-places of the soul, usually excite our laughter or disgust. Just in the same manner, when we look at the sun, we imagine its distance from us to be about 200 feet; the error not consisting solely in the imagination, but arising from our not knowing what the true distance is when we imagine, ...
— The Philosophy of Spinoza • Baruch de Spinoza

... punctilio penetrated for a moment, and that was when Christopher, lagging, turned back to a door they were about to pass and threw it open with the happy laugh of a discoverer. And then, even before she could have hushed him, the laughter on his ...
— O Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919 • Various

... sudden the earnest look in David's face was swept away by a smile. His little legs began to dance; his hands danced, and his piping laughter danced best of all. Making a prancing dash for Mother's skirts, he demanded that she smell the good, barber smell of his hair. But she laughed such a queer laugh, as she gathered him up in her arms, that the gleefulness suddenly ...
— A Melody in Silver • Keene Abbott

... all, over which there was great strife, for all wished to command and no one to obey. Consequently, one thing was resolved upon, which except among the Portuguese of Yndia, where there is so little practice in war or military knowledge, could not pass, and will cause laughter to whoever reads it—namely, that each one of the commanders of the ships should have command for his day, and should be superior of the others. They were to begin by lot, and he who should get the first lot was to have command the first day, and he the second who ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XXII, 1625-29 • Various

... you don't," replied the Gnome, "you can't see yourself. If you could, though—oh, my!" and he again burst into peals of laughter. ...
— The Magic Soap Bubble • David Cory

... were otherwise, and that in a light and sportive manner, conveying, without too much gravity, lessons of advice and improvement. Nor was Lycurgus himself unduly austere; it was he who dedicated, says Sosibius, the little statue of Laughter. Mirth, introduced seasonably at their suppers and places of common entertainment, was to serve as a sort of sweetmeat to accompany their strict and hard life. To conclude, he bred up his citizens in such a way that they neither would nor could live by themselves; they ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... hungry, but he did not eat. He was cramped, but he did not move. He picked up the books she had given him. He was quickened by the powdery beauty of Youth's Encounter; by the vision of laughter and dancing steps beneath a streaky gas-glow in the London fog; of youth not "roughhousing" and wanting to "be a sport," yet in frail beauty and faded crimson banners finding such exaltation as Schoenstrom ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... brethren, a civil man and a greedy. But the Krumen, boatmen and carriers, were also lodged in the little settlement, and these people always make night hideous with their songs and squabbles, their howling voices, and hyaena-like bursts of laughter. It is very difficult to 'love one's neighbour as oneself' when he appears in ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... let us sport Boys, as we sit, Laughter and wit Flashing so free. Life is but short— When we are gone, Let them sing ...
— Punch, Volume 101, Jubilee Issue, July 18, 1891 • Various

... the merest touch, but sufficient to upset the equilibrium of a kicker on one leg, and the next moment Lance Distin was lying on his back in a perfect tangle of brambles, out of which he scrambled, scratched and furious, amidst a roar of laughter from his companions. ...
— The Weathercock - Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias • George Manville Fenn

... other article within reach which he could throw, burst into a loud fit of laughter, in which Sanders and the head heartily joined, and shouted, "Come in, Joe, you old fool! and don't stand bobbing your ugly old mug in and out there, like ...
— Tom Brown at Oxford • Thomas Hughes

... those conversational expedients which pander to gaiety in the form of scandal; they are called among us banter and badinage. Laughter, mirth and gaiety is their purpose, and we meet with them generally in society and high life. Among the heathen, jesting was counted a virtue, and therefore received the title "eutrapelia" by Aristotle. But ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. II - Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost • Martin Luther

... a busy afternoon, and in a field of ripening grain reapers are busy wielding their sickles, but they are not the strong men who talk with loud, rough voices and bind the sheaves with joke and laughter; they are gentle spirits moving like clouds, and their sickles seem like little strokes of lightning as they slide musically through the golden grain. Their shining hands keep time to a beautiful song, and often the reapers ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... of the match in Frank's hand. He held it up first in order to see what was going on; and then with a burst of laughter began to apply the flickering flame to the wick of ...
— The Airplane Boys among the Clouds - or, Young Aviators in a Wreck • John Luther Langworthy

... could control it by law. A gentleman from the country, who had joined the minute-men, came in one day to the Charleston Hotel, with a huge cockade on his hat, expecting to be received with great applause; but, to his astonishment, he was greeted with laughter and ridicule. ...
— Reminiscences of Forts Sumter and Moultrie in 1860-'61 • Abner Doubleday

... that his name was Michael. Indeed, I remember having heard that once, when a schoolmate called the fellow by the long name, just to see how it would seem, he and the other boy both burst right out into a perfect roar of laughter over the sound of it. "For pity's sake," said he, when he got over his laughing fit, "don't call me by that hard name again, as long as I live;" and, as he seemed to be quite in earnest, none of the ...
— Mike Marble - His Crotchets and Oddities. • Uncle Frank

... to pass through. They waited, talking and laughing, when suddenly there was a burst of sound. Over the house-top came an increasing whirr, and an aeroplane suddenly flew over their heads. An excited cry arose from the cheated crowd. Laughter and shrieks burst from every upturned face. Cher Ami circled around the house, flew away and returned, the young people below shouting messages that were never heard. At last down through the laughter-rent air came the bridal ...
— In Apple-Blossom Time - A Fairy-Tale to Date • Clara Louise Burnham

... lawyer had shaken the last peal of laughter from his throat; then he repeated doggedly: ...
— The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton, Part 1 (of 10) • Edith Wharton

... autographs of archbishops and bishops, and other individuals who had, in times long past, distinguished themselves, would supply apologies for wasting the City cash, in order to gratify gentlemen who were afflicted with that description of mania. (Laughter.) He hoped the Court would not catch the infection, but second his rational effort to check it, by condemning the report to its proper station on the table. After all, the document was doubtful; but there was no doubt at all as to the profligacy of the expenditure. (Laughter, ...
— Gossip in the First Decade of Victoria's Reign • John Ashton

... the end of the banana in his mouth and was just about to take a bite when a savage burst of laughter cut him off. ...
— Starman's Quest • Robert Silverberg

... house and lived there; and it had filled him with a kind of solemn happiness to picture how he would some day, when he was free, live there with Margaret for his wife; and perhaps there would be children too, making the house sweet with their laughter and innocent games—children who should look at him with eyes like their mother's. Long hours would pass thus while he sate holding a book or his lute between his hands, the time streaming past in ...
— Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories - Reprinted from The Hill of Trouble and The Isles of Sunset • Arthur Christopher Benson

... the time of his life. He danced with stout farm wives, slender village maidens, and executed a clog dance which made the barn shudder on its foundations. He led the singing, told stories to groups of farmers who shouted with laughter, and refused to go home until Mrs. Harding took him by the arm and fairly dragged ...
— John Henry Smith - A Humorous Romance of Outdoor Life • Frederick Upham Adams

... be held responsible for the Armenian troubles. So he buries Severian, and then solemnly ushers up to the grave, as Pericles's rival, one Afranius Silo, a centurion; the flood of rhetoric which follows is so copious and remarkable that it drew tears from me—ye Graces!—tears of laughter; most of all where the eloquent Afranius, drawing to a close, makes mention, with weeping and distressful moans, of all those costly dinners and toasts. But he is a very Ajax in his conclusion. He draws his sword, gallantly as an Afranius should, and in sight of all cuts his throat ...
— Works, V2 • Lucian of Samosata

... where I saw the peasants at work, and entering into discourse with them, and notwithstanding many of my questions must have appeared to them very singular, I never experienced any incivility, though they frequently answered me with smiles and laughter." {155b} ...
— The Life of George Borrow • Herbert Jenkins

... exploits of his so great or so glorious as that last misfortune which he incurred, because of his own good faith and constancy; a misfortune which appears pitiable to us who hear of it, but was actually pleasant to him who endured it. For men are happy, not because of hilarity, or lasciviousness, or laughter, or jesting, the companion of levity, but often even through sorrow endured with firmness and constancy. Lucretia, having been ravished by force by the king's son, called her fellow-citizens to ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... her away from the door and down the stairs. "He must be trying to teach himself to dance. I suppose he wants to learn how, so he'll be able to dance at the party," she added, with smirk. Then Mother Stina began to shake with laughter. "He came near frightening the life out of me," she confessed. "Thank God he can be young for once!" When she had got over her fit of laughing, she said: "You're not to say a word about this to anybody, ...
— Jerusalem • Selma Lagerlof

... wound the serried band, proud in their panoply, confident of easy victory, their voices ringing out in laughter and disdain as they spoke of the swift vengeance that was about to fall on the heads of the horde of rebel mountaineers. The duke was as gay and confidant as any of his followers, as he proudly bestrode ...
— Historical Tales, Vol 5 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality, German • Charles Morris

... merged with the throng on the verandas. There was a great deal of confusion. Some were already seated and calling for their companions. Others were blundering about searching for friends. The complement of a few tables was already filled and there was much laughter ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... dark houses and slept as children sleep. And then came blue twilight, and lamps were lit in the green spaces, and into the odorous night would come the golden rounded women with smiles like honey, and the graceful feline men.... A woman's laughter, a man's song.... And the moon rising on tropic seas, while a guitar hummed with a deep vibrant note.... And the perfume of ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... themselves any good, and are a curse instead of a benefit to others. These are they who think themselves fine, jovial, spirited fellows, who disdain to work, and bear themselves as if life were merely a game which ought to be played out amid coarse laughter and wild riot. ...
— The Bushman - Life in a New Country • Edward Wilson Landor

... gifts of sunset to the spirit is the knowledge that behind all the whirling web of daylight, beyond all the noise and laughter and appetite and drudgery of life, lies the spirit of beauty that cannot be always revealed or traced in the louder and more urgent pageantry of the day. The sunset has the power of weaving a subtle and ...
— Escape and Other Essays • Arthur Christopher Benson

... said Sam, with much gravity. "I berry much 'spect missis be anxious. Missis wouldn't hear of our ridin' the critters over Lizy's bridge to-night;" and he started off, followed by Andy, at full speed, their shouts of laughter coming faintly ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 453 - Volume 18, New Series, September 4, 1852 • Various

... dispose of a horse or to buy a mowing machine, he avails himself of this auction and the services of a professional auctioneer. Such an individual was busily plying his vocation in front of the King's Head Hotel, and the roars of laughter from the farmers which greeted his sallies as he cried his wares certainly seemed to indicate that the charge that Englishmen can not appreciate humor—at least of a certain kind—is a base slander. As Richmond is the center of one of the ...
— British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car - Being A Record Of A Five Thousand Mile Tour In England, - Wales And Scotland • Thomas D. Murphy

... He heard within the city the tread of the feet of joy, and the laughter of the mouth of gladness and the loud noise of many lutes. And He knocked at the gate and certain of ...
— Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde - with a Preface by Robert Ross • Oscar Wilde

... clapped both hands to his sides, expanded his eyes and mouth, showed his teeth, and finally gave vent to roars of uncontrollable laughter, swaying his body about the while ...
— Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader - A Tale of the Pacific • R. M. Ballantyne

... in their furs, and pine trees, and cocks and hens, and all sorts of animals, and now and then—very reverently—a Madonna and Child. It was all very rough, for there was no one to teach him anything. But it was all lifelike, and kept the whole troop of children shrieking with laughter, or watching breathless, with wide open, wondering, ...
— Bimbi • Louise de la Ramee

... found nice green peas, but hard as little bullets. They were raw, too! Not even the bread had been cooked; it was a soft, sticky mass of dough. His mother, who is a jolly old lady, fairly shook with laughter when she told me about it. She said she never again had to ...
— The Child's Day • Woods Hutchinson

... preceding summer, he had been amused by hearing that there was in the press, half printed, an Answer to the First Edition of his Divorce Book, concocted by a committee of heads, in the centre of whom was—"let the reader hold his laughter," he says, and hear the story out—"an actual serving-man." At least, he had been a serving-man, waiting at table, cleaning trenchers, and the like; but he was ambitious of rising in the world, and had turned Solicitor. Zeal for public morality, or some farther ambition ...
— The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 • David Masson

... you didn't like me," he explained. "Wasn't it funny for me to make such a mistake?" And at the thought he held his sides with laughter. ...
— Moon-Face and Other Stories • Jack London

... iron-roofed houses—while women and children were walking about quite unconcernedly outside, I used to hear the warning bell ring, followed by so much scuffling, screaming, and giggling, in which were mingled jokes and loud laughter from the men, that it made me smile as I listened; then, after the explosion, they would emerge from any improvised shelter and go gaily on their way, and the clang of the blacksmith's anvil, close at hand, would be resumed almost ...
— South African Memories - Social, Warlike & Sporting From Diaries Written At The Time • Lady Sarah Wilson

... from below, arched its trail of light, and exploded: and on the instant the whole valley answered and exploded below us. Between the detonations a cheer rang up the hillside and was drowned in the noise of musketry, as under a crackle of laughter. Forgetting discipline, I crawled forward three paces and tried to peer between the legs of the rank in front, but was hauled back by the ear and soundly cursed. The musketry crackled on without intermission. Away in Ciudad Rodrigo the walls ...
— The Adventures of Harry Revel • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... interpretation of the regulations on behalf of Cadet Smith, and that he did for him what he had never 'done for a white boy in like circumstances,' I hardly know what to say; for such absurd cant seems intended to excite the laughter of all who know the circumstances of the case. What devoted servants those officers of the War Department must be, that they can see in ...
— Henry Ossian Flipper, The Colored Cadet at West Point • Henry Ossian Flipper

... their displeasure, and to perform the sentence they had passed. Then, after giving me another sharp rebuke, they sent us to the chancellor; I muttering all the while, "It was a slap and not a blow," with which we left the Eight bursting with laughter. The chancellor bound us over upon bail on both sides; but only I was punished by having to pay the four measures of meal. Albeit just then I felt as though I had been massacred, I sent for one of my cousins, called Maestro Annibale, the surgeon, father of Messer Librodoro Librodori, ...
— The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini • Benvenuto Cellini

... sense of the ludicrous; and in that lay his salvation. For a sense of the ludicrous is the best of mental antiseptics; it, if anything, will keep our perishable human nature sweet, and save it from the madhouse. His discourse was punctuated throughout with quiet laughter. Thus, when he said, "I call it the late Republican party," it was with a chuckle so good-natured, so free from acidity and self-conceit, that only a pretty stiff partisan could have taken offense. Even his predictions of impending national ruin were delivered with numberless ...
— A Florida Sketch-Book • Bradford Torrey

... man out of hell! You doggoned pilgrim, you!" Tex roared with laughter: "Why accordin' to dope, he'd ought to ...
— The Texan - A Story of the Cattle Country • James B. Hendryx

... cried Edgar, unable to restrain a fit of laughter, "I do not wish to deny the good looks of Mrs Baldwin, but you know that she's uncommonly ruddy and fat and heavy, ...
— Under the Waves - Diving in Deep Waters • R M Ballantyne

... the river and the vine-clad terrace there was a scurrying rush of little school-boys from a steep side-street. They ran down the slope, and passed me, going quickly like black blots on the road, yet their laughter was sunlight on the ripple of waters. The Portuguese are always children and are not sombre. Only in their graveyards stand solemn cypresses which rise darkly on the hillside where they bury their dead; but in life they laugh ...
— A Tramp's Notebook • Morley Roberts

... 1834, for the expulsion of the bishops from the house of lords; but his motion was lost by an overwhelming majority. Mr. O'Connell moved for leave to bring in a bill to reform the whole house of lords, by making that body elective, a motion which gave rise only to laughter. Mr. Grote also brought forward his annual motion for vote by ballot; but it was lost by a majority of one hundred and thirty-nine against fifty-one. Parliament was prorogued on the 20th of August, by the king ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... himself back and was shaking with laughter. I had never in my life heard anything so bitter as that noise. It fell like a blight on all the merriment about donkeys, pyramids, bazaars, or what not. Along the whole dim length of the gallery the voices ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... forget-me-nots in the garden below. Then there were all the hushed sounds of the country: the distant, quick footfall of a horse on some dusty road; the warning cluck of a thrush to her young ones down there among the bushes; the glad voices and laughter of some girls in an adjacent garden—they, too, likely to be soon away from the maternal nest; the crow of a cock pheasant from the margin of the wood; the clear, ringing melody of an undiscoverable lark. Everywhere white light, ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... hurt, I hope," said Martin, suppressing his laughter as his comrade scrambled on to the saddle. "You travel about on the back of your horse at full gallop like ...
— Martin Rattler • R.M. Ballantyne

... between them. Domini faced the tent door, and could see in the distance the tents of the attendants lit up by the blaze of the fire, and the forms of the French soldiers sitting at their table close to it, with the Arabs clustering round them. Sounds of loud conversation and occasional roars of laughter, that was almost childish in its frank lack of all restraint, told her that one feast was a success. She looked at her companions and made a sudden resolve—almost fierce—that the other, over which she was presiding, should be a success, too. But why ...
— The Garden Of Allah • Robert Hichens

... the rifle-barrel, with one eye closed, Otto raised his head, opened both eyes and looked toward the point at which he had been aiming. Then his cheery laughter ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... 1775, Lord North had, indeed, offered resolutions of conciliation. The measure amazed his own followers and was greeted by the Whigs with Homeric laughter. Offers of conciliation could scarcely have arrived in America at a more inopportune time,—the very moment almost when the battle of Lexington came like an alarm-bell in the night to waken men from the dream of peace. And the resolutions themselves had all the appearance ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... put the solemn court into laughter, and Cassandra into the utmost dejection of spirit. Foiled by her own weapons, her spirit suddenly forsook her; and either she never afterwards ventured on prophesying, or the anagram perpetually reminded her hearers ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... side of the cabin screaming with laughter. Jane looked at her an instant, then, joined ...
— The Meadow-Brook Girls Afloat • Janet Aldridge

... overstated the violence of the outbreak in the States when those chapters exploded upon them. But though an angry they are a good humoured and a very placable people; and, as time moved on a little, the laughter on that side of the Atlantic became quite as great as our amusement on this side, at the astonishing fun and comicality of these scenes. With a little reflection the Americans had doubtless begun to find out that the ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... of the carving-knife dropping upon the platter as Leadbury started in some sudden spasm of pain, was drowned by the silvery laughter ...
— The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton • Wardon Allan Curtis

... to haunt the mouldy stillness, for I go in search of everlasting youth; I throw away all that is not one with my life nor as light as my laughter. ...
— Fruit-Gathering • Rabindranath Tagore

... enjoyment of the jest, that, whilst Mordicai stood for a moment aghast with astonishment, Lord Colambre could not help laughing, partly at, and partly with, his countryman. All the yard were in a roar of laughter, though they did not understand half of what they heard; but their risible muscles were acted upon mechanically, or maliciously, merely by the sound of the ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... to consent, for the moment, at least, and suffered her to take him down the corridor toward a floral bower where the hostess stood with her father and mother. Other couples and groups were moving in the same direction, carrying with them a hubbub of laughter and fragmentary chatterings; and Alice, smiling all the time, greeted people on every side of her eagerly—a little more eagerly than most of them responded—while Walter nodded in a noncommittal manner to one or two, said nothing, and yawned audibly, the last resource ...
— Alice Adams • Booth Tarkington

... for Fitzpiers; her constitutional cloud of misery; the sorrowful drops that still hung upon her eyelashes, all made way for the incursive mood started by the spectacle. She burst into an immoderate fit of laughter, her very gloom of the previous hour seeming to render it the more uncontrollable. It had not died out of her when she reached the dining-room; and even here, before the servants, her shoulders suddenly shook as the scene returned upon her; and the tears ...
— The Woodlanders • Thomas Hardy

... coarse-voiced conversations were in progress; but as he pulled the rough curtain walls aside and walked into the room, a hush, highly complimentary to the Chief Inspector's reputation, fell upon the assembly. Only the woman's raucous laughter continued, rising, a hideous solo, above a sort of murmur, composed of the words "Red Kerry!" ...
— Tales of Chinatown • Sax Rohmer

... found we must do more than talk; so we set the drums and trumpets about the ears of the sleepers, and made their comrades shake them with all their might. It was not till after an hour's march, in which coaxing, scolding, and pushing, stimulants to laughter and provocatives to anger, had been incessantly employed in turn, that the vital powers appeared to be in tolerably full play. There was one man more obstinate than the rest, who, in order to get ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 452 - Volume 18, New Series, August 28, 1852 • Various

... especially urged by one member, who argued in the most serious manner that, if a man when in the prime of life had no family there was little likelihood of success when he was between sixty and seventy years of age. This remark was received with general laughter, and shortly afterwards the Dewan made a judicious reply on the whole question, and said that, in his opinion, the interference of the Government was inadvisable, and that the question was one that ought to be settled ...
— Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore • Robert H. Elliot

... Coleridge with whom you were so passionately in love; Charles Lloyd's mind has only changed his disease, and he is now arraying his ci-devant Angel in a flaming San Benito—the whole ground of the garment a dark brimstone and plenty of little devils flourished out in black. Oh, me! Lamb, "even in laughter the ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 5 • Edited by E. V. Lucas

... Counsellors, or persons known to be disaffected to the common cause, pass by than the Pope immediately bowed with proportioned respect to them, and the Devil at the same moment striking his dart at the head of the Pope convulsed the populace with bursts of laughter. While on the other hand, the immovable effigies of Lords Grenville and North, appearing like attendants on the Pope or criminals, moved the people with sentiments of disgust and contempt against them and the whole British Administration, for the many oppressive acts ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... last shall vindicate the right. Crime shall be meted with its proper pain, Motes shall be taken from the doubter's sight, And fortune's general justice rendered plain. Of honest laughter there shall be no dearth, Wit shall shake hands with humor grave and sweet, Our wisdom shall not be too wise for mirth, Nor kindred follies want a fool to greet. As sometimes from the meanest spot of earth A sudden beauty unexpected starts, So you shall find some germs of hidden worth Within ...
— War Poetry of the South • Various

... in my way and causing me to fall over your abominable basket, to the great injury of my waistcoat and shirt-front, breeches and coat; not to speak of the undignified position I was compelled to assume amid the jeers and laughter of the surrounding populace!" exclaimed the Baron, eyeing the ...
— Voyages and Travels of Count Funnibos and Baron Stilkin • William H. G. Kingston

... braying sound like a weirdly discordant fit of laughter; and then perfect silence, with the ...
— The Ocean Cat's Paw - The Story of a Strange Cruise • George Manville Fenn

... Further, some sins are mortal in virtue of their species [*Ex genere, genus in this case denoting the species], as murder and adultery; and some are venial in virtue of their species, as in an idle word, and excessive laughter. Therefore venial and mortal ...
— Summa Theologica, Part I-II (Pars Prima Secundae) - From the Complete American Edition • Saint Thomas Aquinas

... himself as separated from the others, was saddened by the blithe and merry speeches that went from rank to rank. The company wags all made their best endeavors. The regiment tramped to the tune of laughter. ...
— The Red Badge of Courage - An Episode of the American Civil War • Stephen Crane

... laughter grew louder, and another German, evidently good-naturedly desirous to relieve Walter's embarrassment, spoke, turning as he did so ...
— Elsie at the World's Fair • Martha Finley

... sat down in a ditch with our canoe aprons over our knees. It rained smartly. Discomfort, when it is honestly uncomfortable and makes no nauseous pretensions to the contrary, is a vastly humorous business; and people well steeped and stupefied in the open air are in a good vein for laughter. From this point of view, even egg a la papier offered by way of food may pass muster as a sort of accessory to the fun. But this manner of jest, although it may be taken in good part, does not invite repetition; and from that time forward, the Etna voyaged like a gentleman in ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 1 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... meeting brought Mrs. Bracken home that day several hours before she had planned. She stopped on the threshold in astonishment when she heard voices and laughter in the rear of her apartment. She hurried back with pursed lips and frowning face for both laugh and voice had sounded young. If Mary Rose were making free with her things she would give Mary Rose a good big piece of her mind and then ...
— Mary Rose of Mifflin • Frances R. Sterrett

... love of wit and laughter. To joke and quip seemed to him beneath the dignity of men. It is, rather, the safety-valve of a highly intelligent people—the outlet for their ironic perceptions of life. The most amusing songs of the war that I have heard were given by the ...
— The World Decision • Robert Herrick

... Vine, Profusely wanton'd in each golden Line. Who, prodigal of Sense, by Beaumont's care, Was prun'd so wisely, and became so fair. Could from his copious Brain new Humours bring, A bragging Bessus, or inconstant King. Could Laughter thence, here melting pity raise In his Amyntors, and Aspasia's. But Rome and Athens must the Plots produce With France, the Handmaid of ...
— Discourse on Criticism and of Poetry (1707) - From Poems On Several Occasions (1707) • Samuel Cobb

... blossoms of the Ohia round their brown throats. Sometimes a troop of twenty of these free-and-easy female riders went by at a time, a graceful and exciting spectacle, with a running accompaniment of vociferation and laughter. Among these we met several of the Nevada's officers, riding in the stiff, wooden style which Anglo-Saxons love, and a horde of jolly British sailors from H.M.S. Scout, rushing helter skelter, colliding with everybody, bestriding their horses as they would a topsail-yard, ...
— The Hawaiian Archipelago • Isabella L. Bird

... to possess before. I have already spoken of his wonderful courtliness to a new acquaintance, his bewitching air of sympathy; on a closer intimacy this stately manner would break up into wild fits of mirth, and any sketch of Rossetti would be incomplete that did not describe his loud and infectious laughter. He lived very much apart from the every-day life of mankind, not ostentatiously, but from a genuine lack of interest in passing events. An old friend tells me that during the French Revolution he burst into Rossetti's studio with the incredible news, "Louis-Philippe has landed in England!" ...
— Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 8 (of 8) • Various

... the mocking, laughter-loving, mischievous Godfrey, who delighted to lay all his naughty tricks and devilries upon his quiet cousin; while he considered himself as his patron and protector, and often gave himself great ...
— Mark Hurdlestone - Or, The Two Brothers • Susanna Moodie

... his pen, he became aware of voices and loud laughter from the adjacent coffee-room, and was proceeding to fold and seal his letter when he started and raised his head, roused by the mention of his own name spoken in soft, deliberate ...
— The Amateur Gentleman • Jeffery Farnol et al

... the 21st of October 1556. He had been sitting at table with friends far into the night or morning. One of them, describing to him a farcical incident of Rabelaisian quality, he threw himself back in his chair in a fit of laughter, and slipping on the polished floor, was thrown with great force on his head and killed almost instantaneously. This was indeed the violent and sudden death of the strong, licentious man; poetic justice could have devised no more fitting end ...
— The Later works of Titian • Claude Phillips

... ended and reality began. Gentlemen maybe you'll conclude I went mad last night, but as I stood holding on to the bedrail I heard the blood throbbing through my arteries with a noise like a screw-propeller. I started laughing. The laughter issued from my lips with a shrill whistling sound that pierced me with physical pain and seemed to wake the echoes of the whole block. I thought myself I was going mad, and I tried to command my will—to break the power of the chloral—for I concluded ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... instruct an unskilled amateur, can take his ill-guarded wicket, and make him "give chances" all over the field, without bursting into yells of unseemly laughter. But the little caddie cannot restrain his joy when the tyro at golf, after missing his ball some six times, ultimately dashes off the head of his club against the ground. Nor is he less exuberant when his patron's ball is deep in a "bunker," or sand-pit, where the wretch stands ...
— Lost Leaders • Andrew Lang

... to the Senate, moved in the caucus that David Davis be the Republican candidate for president pro tempore. Later he made the nomination in the Senate itself, and Senator Davis was elected, Senator Bayard descending, amid general laughter, from the chair which he had occupied ...
— Fifty Years of Public Service • Shelby M. Cullom

... their arms pinioned, and water-proof capes were put over their clothes. Then each one was led up to a tub, and told to name one of the girls present; if he could catch an apple in his teeth, she would be his next year's valentine. Fun, splashing, and laughter followed for five minutes; then time was up, and three more boys took their turn. After many such trials Posy's big cousin (an old hand, with a big mouth) brought up a little apple, another fellow caught an apple by its stalk, and Bob (good at a dive), after ...
— Harper's Young People, October 26, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... the very depths of the uproar rises a song with bursts of laughter, in which the name of Jesus recurs. These outbursts come from the common people, who all clap their hands in order to keep time with the music. In the midst of them is Arius, in the dress ...
— The Temptation of St. Antony - or A Revelation of the Soul • Gustave Flaubert

... (for that was who she was) had no sooner looked at one another than they went into fits of laughter, and cried at the same moment, ...
— Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17) - Folk-Lore, Fables, And Fairy Tales • Various

... not allow it, but that every one was free as soon as they touched the land. This statement excited a laugh of the loudest derision from all the party, and they ran to tell it to their companions, who screamed with laughter as well; so that I unwittingly started a fine joke ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... thing occurred. Apparently Nicholas's inventions—his little pieces of wood and bark and cloth, his glass bottles, and tubes—seemed to them highly suspicious. There was laughter at first, and then sudden silence. Nina could see part of the room through the open door and she watched them as they gathered round the little table, talking together in excited whispers. The tall, rough-looking fellow who had frightened her before picked up one ...
— The Secret City • Hugh Walpole

... inclination to laugh. "The Head Ranger attacked the Tammany chief, whose name was Day Vidbehill,—a queer name, isn't it?—and slew him after a bloody conflict. He gave me his brush, I mean his scalp-lock, afterward, and it now adorns—" Here her amusement became ungovernable, and she went into fits of laughter, which Imogen's astonished look ...
— In the High Valley - Being the fifth and last volume of the Katy Did series • Susan Coolidge

... everything.' While he was speaking to the Indian, the remark was made that he did not know the meaning of the sentence. When questioned the following day, he said 'patience and 'suverance mean a little book,' Our laughter convinced him he was mistaken, and he said 'patience mean you must be patien; I don't zackly know what 'suverance do mean, sar!' Numerous errors of this nature are doubtless occurring daily, and among a people who are so scrupulously ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... little hillock in the fields twisted his crooked branches with laughter. The wild rose, whose hips were already beginning to turn red, ...
— The Old Willow Tree and Other Stories • Carl Ewald

... air of disdain, "do you not know, you who knows everything, that that which is plucked dies and discolours?" and thereupon roaring with laughter at the good joke, she pushed him out of doors. This became known. The poor advocate, named Feron, died of shame, seeing that he was the only one who had not his own wife while she, who was from this was called La Belle ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... the velvet lawn The cedar spreads its shade, And by the flower-beds all around, Bright roses bloom and fade; Shrill merry childish laughter rings, And baby voices sweet, And by me, on the path, I hear The ...
— Legends and Lyrics: First Series • Adelaide Anne Procter

... scores at a time, and the air was filled with the ringing hoofs of hundreds of horses, the voices of coachmen and grooms, and the gay sound of laughter. ...
— Jolly Sally Pendleton - The Wife Who Was Not a Wife • Laura Jean Libbey

... the clothes he would like to wear. As a race fat men are fond of bright and cheerful colors; but no fat man can indulge his innocent desires in this direction without grieving his family and friends and exciting the derisive laughter of the unthinking. If he puts on a fancy-flowered vest, they'll say he looks like a Hanging Garden of Babylon. And yet he has a figure just made for showing off a fancy-flowered vest to best effect. He may favor something in light ...
— Cobb's Anatomy • Irvin S. Cobb

... Much laughter has been indulged in at my expense for having told the Congress audience at Calcutta that if there was sufficient response to my programme of non-co-operation Swaraj would be attained in one year. Some have ignored my condition and laughed because of the impossibility of getting Swaraj ...
— Freedom's Battle - Being a Comprehensive Collection of Writings and Speeches on the Present Situation • Mahatma Gandhi

... made by their warm breath the wondrous marvels within. The little pastry-shops and corner-groceries vied with the toy-shops and confectionaries, and were packed with a population that hummed like bees, the busy murmur broken every now and then by jests and calls and laughter, as the customers squeezed in empty-handed, or slipped out with carefully-wrapped parcels hugged close to their cheery bosoms or carried in ...
— Santa Claus's Partner • Thomas Nelson Page

... with a very, very few farmer youth of marriageable age, and more rustic and seafaring elders long past it, all in the Sunday best which they had worn to the graduation exercises at the High School, where we took them mostly up. The womenkind were in a nervous twitter of talk and laughter, and the men tolerantly gay beyond their wont, "passing the time of day" with one another, and helping the more tumultuous sex to get settled in the overcrowded open car. They courteously made room for one another, and let the children stand between their knees, or took them in their laps, ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... their golden halls of 'many-topped Olympus,' seem to have led a merry-enough life of it over their nectar and ambrosia, their laughter and intrigues. ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... if unconscious of the interruption; sometimes they rush up to their mother or Eva for an embrace; sometimes they run up to the fat lady, look with wondering gravity in her face, and then, bursting into laughter, scud away. These are the children of a sister of Hillel Besso, brought to Damascus for change of air. Their mother is also here, sitting at the side of Eva: a soft and pensive countenance, watching the children with her intelligent blue eyes, or beckoning to ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... had been drunk amid much jesting and laughter, the company put on their wraps and hoods, bade good-night to their hosts, entered their sleighs, and, with more jesting and more laughter, started for a moonlight drive over the frozen snow to ...
— Her Mother's Secret • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... history of disaster. Her gestures were full of deliberate exaggeration, and she appeared to be impersonating by turns two or three different people, each of whom had a perfectly ridiculous personality. Lord Holme burst into a roar of laughter. His big bass voice vibrated through the room. Suddenly Lady ...
— The Woman With The Fan • Robert Hichens

... letter lets us see the propaganda from Harriet's point of view. "I am sure you would laugh were you to see us give the pamphlets. We throw them out of the window, and give them to men that we pass in the streets. For myself, I am ready to die of laughter when it is done, and Percy looks so grave. Yesterday he put one into a woman's ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Addington Symonds

... one of his warriors to kiss the king's foot. The Northman, remaining bolt upright, took hold of the king's foot, raised it to his mouth, and so made the king fall backward, which caused great bursts of laughter and much disturbance amongst the throng. Then the king and all the grandees who were about him, prelates, abbots, dukes, and counts, swore, in the name of the Catholic faith, that they would protect the patrician Rollo in his life, his members, and ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume I. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... hundred, and be guided in his measures by them. This was after the visit of the honourable member to Paris, to induce the French government to espouse the cause of insurrection in Ireland. His recommendation was received with shouts of derisive laughter, and his treason was chastised by the premier reminding him that he had taken the oath of allegiance, and at the same time was encompassing the dishonour of the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... a confusion of tongues, badinage, repartee, wit undiluted by discretion—and rippling laughter as one mask ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... long days I am walking the world, looking over a low ditch or a high ditch on my north or my south, into stony scattered fields, or scribes of bog, where you'd see young, limber girls, and fine prancing women making laughter with ...
— The Playboy of the Western World • J. M. Synge

... eye-curtains, and sleep comes without a dream. In the morning his first note is a laugh and a crow, as he sits up in his crib and tries to pull papa's eyes open with his fat fingers. He is an embodied joy,—he is sunshine and music and laughter for all the house. With what a magnificent generosity does the Author of life endow a little mortal pilgrim in giving him at the outset of his career such a body as this! How miserable it is to look forward twenty years, when the same child, ...
— Household Papers and Stories • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... his brain; but if the rebellious rhymes refused to come he would descend to the second floor and play some harmless games with certain "persons," or it might be a hand at boston, for small stakes, at which he sometimes won as much as three francs. His resounding laughter could be heard, echoing down the staircase as he remounted to his garret, exulting over his extensive winnings. Nothing, however, could turn him aside from his project of writing Cromwell, and he set himself ...
— Honor de Balzac • Albert Keim and Louis Lumet

... brain. He was very timid in the presence of women, and it diverted the waiters to see him blush when he waited upon the gorgeous birds that thronged the aviary at night, making its walls echo with their chattering, quarrels, laughter. This provincial, modest, sensitive, the only child of old-fashioned parents, was stupefied and shocked in the presence of the over-decorated and under-dressed creatures, daubed like idols, who began to flock in the cafe, with ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... passed near the taproom window the light fell full upon a railing; just beneath and over this railing hung two men. At first I thought they were ill, but upon passing near I learned that they were simply limp and helpless with laughter, the sound of which they contrived to keep muffled. To my surprise I recognized the persons of young ...
— The O'Ruddy - A Romance • Stephen Crane

... that the British army had really attained its object at last. Very gravely we gave each other luck, and gravely drank our wine. Both of us, I am glad to be able to tell you, rose to the occasion, and as we looked across the bubbles, no foolish chaff or laughter marred ...
— With Rimington • L. March Phillipps

... the Owl gravely watched this operation and nodded approval when Woot's silky green fur shone clear and bright in the afternoon sun. The Canary seemed much amused and laughed a silvery ripple of laughter as ...
— The Tin Woodman of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... upon a dimly lighted stage which held two grand pianofortes and several chairs. A colorless-looking individual read my card and with marked asperity asked for my music. Frightened, I told him I had brought none. There were murmurings and suppressed laughter in the dim auditorium. There sat the judges—I don't know how many, but one was a woman, and I hated her though I could not see her. She had a disagreeable laugh, and she let it loose when the assistant professor on the platform stumbled over the syllables of my very Teutonic name. I explained ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... hours of his whole life, and who was now following his practice in India, also bore the name of Allen—Benjamin Allen! It will be said that there was not much in this; there were many Allens about, and, in the world generally (loud laughter); but what will be said when, on carelessly turning over the old rate-books, he came on this startling fact? That at the beginning of the century his old friend's grandfather actually occupied a small house on Tulse Hill, not five minutes' walk ...
— Pickwickian Studies • Percy Fitzgerald



Words linked to "Laughter" :   utterance, belly laugh, titter, horselaugh, activity, vocalization, cachinnation, laugh, hee-haw



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