• (RP) IPA: /ˈhjuː.mə(ɹ)/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈhjuːmɚ/, /ˈjuːmɚ/

humour (uncountable) (British spelling)

  1. (uncountable) The quality of being amusing, comical, funny. [from the early 18th c.]
    She has a great sense of humour, and I always laugh a lot whenever we get together.
    The sensitive subject was treated with humour, but in such way that no one was offended.
    • For thy sake I admit / That a Scot may have humour, I'd almost said wit.
    • A great deal of excellent humour was expended on the perplexities of mine host.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter I, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604 ↗; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620 ↗:
      They stayed together during three dances, went out on to the terrace, explored wherever they were permitted to explore, paid two visits to the buffet, and enjoyed themselves much in the same way as if they had been school-children surreptitiously breaking loose from an assembly of grown-ups. The boy became volubly friendly and bubbling over with unexpected humour and high spirits.
    Synonyms: amusingness, comedy, comicality, wit
  2. (uncountable) A mood, especially a bad mood; a temporary state of mind or disposition brought upon by an event; an abrupt illogical inclination or whim.
    He was in a particularly vile humour that afternoon.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, Apophthegms
      a prince of a pleasant humour
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The Merry VViues of VVindsor”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
      I like not the humour of lying.
    • Examine how your humour is inclined, / And which the ruling passion of your mind.
    • Is my friend all perfection, all virtue and discretion? Has he not humours to be endured?
    Synonyms: mood
  3. (archaic or historical) Any of the fluids in an animal body, especially the four "cardinal humours" of blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm that were believed to control the health and mood of the human body.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      , Book I, New York 2001,page 147:
      A humour is a liquid or fluent part of the body, comprehended in it, for the preservation of it; and is either innate or born with us, or adventitious and acquisite.
    • 1763, Antoine-Simon Le Page Du Pratz, History of Louisisana ↗ (PG), (tr. 1774) page 42:
      For some days a fistula lacrymalis had come into my left eye, which discharged an humour, when pressed, that portended danger.
    Synonyms: bodily fluid
  4. (medicine) Either of the two regions of liquid within the eyeball, the aqueous humour and vitreous humour.
  5. (obsolete) Moist vapour, moisture.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Verb

humour (humours, present participle humouring; past and past participle humoured)

  1. (transitive) To pacify by indulging.
    I know you don't believe my story, but humour me for a minute and imagine it to be true.

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