• (RP) IPA: /ˈdʒəʊkə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈdʒoʊkɚ/

joker (plural jokers)

  1. A person who makes jokes.
  2. (slang) A funny person.
  3. A jester.
    Synonyms: court jester, fool, jester
  4. A playing card that features a picture of a joker (that is, a jester) and that may be used as a wild card in some card games.
  5. An unspecified, vaguely disreputable person.
    Some joker keeps throwing eggs at my windows.
  6. (New Zealand, colloquial) A man.
  7. A clause in a contract that undermines its apparent provisions.
    • 1922, Farm Machinery and Equipment (page lxxxiii)
      Discussion of contracts and the many provisions contained therein led to a vote making it the sense of the convention that manufacturers should use a simple sales contract, free from jokers.
    • 1939, Canadian Parliament, Official Report of Debates, House of Commons (volume 218, page 858)
      Then, sir, on page 12 of the agreement there is a joker clause, which provides for payments in addition to the ten per cent, […]
    • 1942, Billboard (volume 54, number 41, page 5)
      Stone claimed that there was a Joker in the contract, one clause (No. 2) calling for two weeks' notice and another (No. 8) calling for payment on a par-day basis after the first two weeks.
    • 1958, Duncan Leroy Kennedy, Bill drafting (page 12)
      The object of these provisions is to prevent insertion of "jokers" or "sleepers" in bills and securing passage under the false color of the title.
Related terms Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. A fictional villain of DC Comics, noted for his insanity and cunning, who either wears clown makeup or is disfigured to appear as such, and who is archenemy of Batman#Etymology 3|Batman.
    • 2007, Joe Layden, The Last Great Fight, p. 217:
      ...grinning like the Joker, Batman's nemesis, a character described in the story as being a favorite of Douglas's.
    • 2008, Deborah Eden, The Destroyer, p. 82:
      He started to laugh that maniacal laugh that sounded like the Joker on speed.
    • 2011, Steve Hely, How I Became a Famous Novelist, p. 185:
      I would've liked to have learned more, but the lady working the booth was a monstrous titan with dyed black hair, about ten rings on each hand, and a mouth like the Joker (Jack Nicholson version), and she spooked me.
    • 2014, Tania Carver, The Doll's House, p. 22:
      Wide and taut, fixed and immobile. Like the Joker from Batman, he thought. Or one of his victims.
    • 2015, Manuel Luis Martinez, Drift: A Novel, p. 16:
      He looks like the Joker, the Latino one, what was his name? Cesar Romero.

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