Laugh vs Scoff - What's the difference?

laugh | scoff |


As nouns the difference between laugh and scoff

is that laugh is an expression of mirth particular to the human species; the sound heard in laughing; laughter while scoff is derision; ridicule; a derisive or mocking expression of scorn, contempt, or reproach or scoff can be (south africa) food.

As verbs the difference between laugh and scoff

is that laugh is to show mirth, satisfaction, or derision, by peculiar movement of the muscles of the face, particularly of the mouth, causing a lighting up of the face and eyes, and usually accompanied by the emission of explosive or chuckling sounds from the chest and throat; to indulge in laughter while scoff is to jeer; laugh at with contempt and derision or scoff can be (british) to eat food quickly.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?

laugh

English

Alternative forms

* laff (eye dialect) * laughe (archaic) * larf (Cockney eye dialect)

Noun

(en noun)
  • An expression of mirth particular to the human species; the sound heard in laughing; laughter.
  • * 1803 , (Oliver Goldsmith), The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B.: With an Account of His Life , page 45:
  • And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.
  • * 1869 , , Lectures and Addresses on Literary and Social Topics , page 87:
  • That man is a bad man who has not within him the power of a hearty laugh .
  • Something that provokes mirth or scorn.
  • * 1921 , (Ring Lardner), The Big Town: How I and the Mrs. Go to New York to See Life and Get Katie a Husband , The Bobbs-Merrill Company, page 73:
  • “And this rug,” he says, stomping on an old rag carpet. “How much do you suppose that cost?” ¶ It was my first guess, so I said fifty dollars. ¶ “That’s a laugh ,” he said. “I paid two thousand for that rug.”
  • * 1979 , (Monty Python), (Always Look on the Bright Side of Life)
  • Life's a piece of shit / When you look at it / Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
  • (label) A fun person.
  • * 2010 , (The Times), March 14, 2010, (Tamzin Outhwaite), the unlikely musical star
  • Outhwaite is a good laugh , yes, she knows how to smile: but deep down, she really is strong and stern.

    Synonyms

    * (expression of mirth) cackle, chortle, chuckle, giggle, guffaw, snicker, snigger, titter, cachinnation * (something that provokes mirth or scorn) joke, laughing stock

    Derived terms

    * barrel of laughs * belly laugh * bundle of laughs * evil laugh * a laugh a minute * for a laugh * have a laugh * have the last laugh * horselaugh * laughathon * laughless * laughlike * laughline * laugh machine * laughsome * laugh track * laughworthy * laughy * liquid laugh

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • (label) To show mirth, satisfaction, or derision, by peculiar movement of the muscles of the face, particularly of the mouth, causing a lighting up of the face and eyes, and usually accompanied by the emission of explosive or chuckling sounds from the chest and throat; to indulge in laughter.
  • * c. 1602 , (William Shakespeare), (Troilus and Cressida) , act I, scene ii:
  • But there was such laughing! Queen Hecuba laugh' d that her eyes ran o'er.
  • * 1899 , (Stephen Crane),
  • The roars of laughter which greeted his proclamation were of two qualities; some men laughing' because they knew all about cuckoo-clocks, and other men ' laughing because they had concluded that the eccentric Jake had been victimised by some wise child of civilisation.
  • * 1979 , (Monty Python), (Always Look on the Bright Side of Life)
  • If life seems jolly rotten / There's something you've forgotten / And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
  • To be or appear cheerful, pleasant, mirthful, lively, or brilliant; to sparkle; to sport.
  • * 1693 , (John Dryden), "Of the Pythagorean Philosophy", from the 15th book of Ovid's Metamorphoses
  • Then laughs the childish year, with flowerets crowned
  • * 1734 , (Alexander Pope), (An Essay on Man) , Chapter 3
  • In Folly’s cup ?till laughs the bubble Joy.
  • To make an object of laughter or ridicule; to make fun of; to deride; to mock.
  • * 1731-1735 , (Alexander Pope), (Moral Essays)
  • No wit to flatter left of all his store, No fool to laugh at, which he valu'd more.
  • * 1890 , (Oscar Wilde), (The Picture of Dorian Gray) , Chapter 3
  • There was something about him, Harry, that amused me. He was such a monster. You will laugh at me, I know, but I really went in and paid a whole guinea for the stage-box. To the present day I can't make out why I did so; and yet if I hadn't! – my dear Harry, if I hadn't, I would have missed the greatest romance of my life. I see you are laughing. It is horrid of you!"
  • * 1967 , (The Beatles), (Penny Lane)
  • On the corner is a banker with a motorcar / The little children laugh at him behind his back
  • (label) To affect or influence by means of laughter or ridicule.
  • * 1611 , (William Shakespeare), (The Tempest) , act II, scene i:
  • Will you laugh me asleep, for I am very heavy?
  • * 1611 , (William Shakespeare), (The Tempest) , act II, scene ii:
  • I shall laugh myself to death.
  • (label) To express by, or utter with, laughter.
  • * 1602 , (William Shakespeare), (Troilus and Cressida) , act I, scene iii:
  • From his deep chest laughs out a loud applause.
  • * 1866 , (Louisa May Alcott), (Behind A Mask)'' or, ''A Woman's Power ; Chapter 8
  • Fairfax addressed her as "my lady," she laughed her musical laugh, and glanced up at a picture of Gerald with eyes full of exultation.
  • * 1906 , (Jack London), (Moon-Face)
  • "You refuse to take me seriously," Lute said, when she had laughed her appreciation. "How can I take that Planchette rigmarole seriously?"

    Usage notes

    The simple past tense forms laught', '''laugh'd''' and '''low''' and the past participles '''laught''', '''laugh'd''' and ' laughen also exist, but are obsolete.

    Synonyms

    * (show mirth by peculiar movement of the muscles of the face) cackle, chortle, chuckle, giggle, guffaw, snicker, snigger, titter * See also

    Antonyms

    * (show mirth by peculiar movement of the muscles of the face) cry, weep

    Coordinate terms

    * (show mirth by peculiar movement of the muscles of the face) cry

    Derived terms

    * belly-laugh * burst out laughing * don't make me laugh * he who laughs last laughs best * he who laughs last laughs longest * laughable * laugh all the way to the bank * laugh away * laugh down * laugher * laughing * laugh in someone's face * laugh in the sleeve * laugh like a drain * laugh like a hyena * laugh off * laugh one out of * laugh one's head off * laugh on the other side of one's face * laugh out, laugh out loud * laugh out of the other corner of the mouth, laugh out of the other side of the mouth * laugh to scorn * laugh track * * LOL * outlaugh * unlaugh * you're having a laugh * you've got to laugh

    See also

    * aphonogelia * comedy * gelotology * funny * ha ha * tee hee, tee hee hee

    scoff

    English

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) scof/skof, of Scandinavian origin. Compare (etyl) skaup, Danish skuffelse(noun)/skuffe(verb) and Old High German scoph.

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • Derision; ridicule; a derisive or mocking expression of scorn, contempt, or reproach.
  • * Shakespeare
  • With scoffs , and scorns, and contumelious taunts.
  • * 1852 , The Dublin University Magazine (page 66)
  • There were sneers, and scoffs , and inuendoes of some; prophecies of failure in a hundred ways
  • An object of scorn, mockery, or derision.
  • * Cowper
  • The scoff of withered age and beardless youth.
    Synonyms
    * derision, ridicule * See also

    Verb

  • To jeer; laugh at with contempt and derision.
  • * Goldsmith
  • Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, / And fools who came to scoff , remained to pray.
    Synonyms
    * contemn, deride, sneer

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl).

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • (South Africa) Food.
  • Verb

  • (British) To eat food quickly.
  • (South Africa) To eat.
  • Synonyms
    * (eat quickly) (l), (l) (US)

    See also

    * scuff