What you do when something is funny. Of course, some of us also do it when something is sad or horrible or just plain disturbing. I don't know why, it seems to be an instant unconscious reaction that leaks through at inappropriate moments. I never know whether to let it burst out or hold it inside me because it is rude.

However, sometimes laughing inappropriately can be fun. In theatres, in quiet classrooms, I often think of a joke I heard the day before and chuckle with abondon. It may cause people to stare but at least it is real, as opposed to a pity laugh.

Note also that laughing is the older and more mature sibling of giggling.

Laugh"ing (?), a. & n.

from Laugh, v. i.

Laughing falcon Zool., a South American hawk (Herpetotheres cachinnans); -- so called from its notes, which resemble a shrill laughing. -- Laughing gas Chem., hyponitrous oxide, or protoxide of nitrogen<-- = nitrous oxide -->; -- so called from the exhilaration and laughing which it sometimes produces when inhaled. It is much used as an anaesthetic agent.<-- now primarily in dentistry --> -- Laughing goose Zool., the European white-fronted goose. -- Laughing gull. Zool. (a) A common European gull (Xema ridibundus); -- called also pewit, black cap, red-legged gull, and sea crow. (b) An American gull (Larus atricilla). In summer the head is nearly black, the back slate color, and the five outer primaries black. -- Laughing hyena Zool., the spotted hyena. See Hyena. -- Laughing jackass Zool., the great brown kingfisher (Dacelo gigas), of Australia; -- called also giant kingfisher, and gogobera. -- Laughing owl Zool., a peculiar owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) of New Zealand, said to be on the verge of extinction. The name alludes to its notes.


© Webster 1913.

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