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Use the word "humor" as a noun when describing something that is funny or when describing a person’s ability to recognize why something is funny.

  • She has a good sense of humor.
  • I didn’t see any humor in that. It wasn’t funny to see him fall over.
  • If you like humor, you’ll love this movie.
  • That writer is known for his humor.

The word "humorous" is an adjective. It’s very similar to the word "funny."

  • Jessica said something very humorous during class and everyone laughed.
  • The people who watched the performance found it humorous.
  • This is kind of a humorous situation.
  • I really don’t find this to be humorous.

It is possible to use "humor" as a verb, but then the meaning of the word changes. When humoring someone, you allow that person to believe something that is not true. For example, if you produce a work of art that isn’t very good, and then I tell you it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, I’m humoring you.

  • As Tommy described an incident at school, his mother humored him.
  • Almost everyone in the office humors Dan when he talks about how big a ladies’ man he is.
  • I don’t see the need to humor Rachel. Let’s just tell her the truth. (Let’s stop pretending something is true.)

Note: British spelling for this word is humour.

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This page was first published on April 19, 2012. It was updated on May 28, 2015.



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