• WordNet 3.6
    • n joker a playing card that is usually printed with a picture of a jester
    • n joker an inconspicuous clause in a document or bill that affects its meaning in a way that is not immediately apparent "when I demanded my money he showed me the joker in the contract"
    • n joker a person who enjoys telling or playing jokes
    • n joker a person who does something thoughtless or annoying "some joker is blocking the driveway"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Joker A clause placed in a document, such as a contract or a piece of legislation, not itself appearing significant, but in a subtle way substantially changing the effect of the document.
    • Joker A person; a fellow; a chap; -- usually used in a mildly disparaging sense; as, who's the joker who left the ice cream on the table?.
    • Joker (Card Playing) An extra card usually included in a deck of playing cards, having the same design as the others on the back, but on the face having a picture of a jester. It is not included in the deck used in most games, but in certain games may be included and then takes on a special value, such as the highest-valued card, or a wild card.
    • Joker Any fact or condition which is unknown or not apparent, which reverses an apparently advantageous position; a kicker.
    • Joker in some forms of euchre and some other games, an extra card sometimes added to the pack, which takes precedence of all others as the highest card.
    • Joker One who makes jokes or jests.
    • Joker (Card Playing) See Best bower, under 2d Bower.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n joker One who jokes, in speech or in deed; a jester; a merry fellow.
    • n joker A playing-card, either blank or having some comical or other special device, added to a pack, and used in some games, as in euchre. It is always a trump, and generally the highest trump. Often called jolly joker.
    • n joker Figuratively, something concealed that wins the game; a trick under an innocent guise: as, a joker in a legislative bill.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Joker one who jokes or jests: a card, generally the highest trump, at euchre
    • ***


  • J. G. Ballard
    “Perhaps violence, like pornography, is some kind of an evolutionary standby system, a last-resort device for throwing a wild joker into the game?”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. jocus.


In literature:

I slung one joker through the window.
"A Son of the Immortals" by Louis Tracy
For the dog is a joker, withal, gifted with as much humor as is consistent with biting.
"The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays" by Ambrose Bierce
I'm no joker; no time for that.
"Desert Conquest" by A. M. Chisholm
That was Lovad's worst point: he was a joker, and liked to use his knowledge of electronics to play tricks.
"A Matter of Honor" by Ann Wilson
There are, too, the recognized jokers, men who are always looking out for a chance to make a hit.
"At Plattsburg" by Allen French
Milton was a merciless joker, especially upon his father.
"A Spoil of Office" by Hamlin Garland
Jimmy was beginning to acquire a reputation as a joker.
"In Our Town" by William Allen White
And I rayther guess as how I shall turn up the little joker!
"Her Mother's Secret" by Emma D. E. N. Southworth
How amusing this big frog, the magician or joker, as you term him.
"Cupology" by Clara
Then the six jokers slipped away and left the confiding ones to wait.
"Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror" by Richard Linthicum
The joke had been turned against the joker, and in the most primitive and direct way.
"The Fighting Edge" by William MacLeod Raine
Cameron, Tyler, and some new joker in plain clothes.
"Stingaree" by E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 26th, 1914" by Various
Some practical joker has introduced a chemical into the water supply.
"The Blue Germ" by Martin Swayne
Now comes the Juggler, the little Joker.
"The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul" by Jirah D. Buck
But he was a ne'er-do-well, with nothing to be said in his favor, unless you admit his fame as a practical joker.
"Humorous Ghost Stories" by Dorothy Scarborough
Both the Doanes were great jokers.
"When Life Was Young" by C. A. Stephens
Uncle Averill was a practical joker, too.
"My Shipmate--Columbus" by Stephen Wilder
Meanwhile, Joker's fame as an otter-hound was firmly established in the village, and he was regarded as a hero.
"Creatures of the Night" by Alfred W. Rees
That is the work of the irrepressible practical joker.
"The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by Harry Furniss

In poetry:

It wasn't the Jack of Diamonds
Nor the Joker she drew first;
It wasn't the King or the Queen of Hearts
But the Ace of Spades reversed.
"Victor" by W H Auden
—"Ha, ha—go away! 'Tis a tale, methink,
Thou joker Kit!" laughed she.
"I've known thee many a year, Kit Twink,
And ever hast thou fooled me!"
"The Slow Nature" by Thomas Hardy
She disappeared; and the joker stood
Depressed by his neighbor's doom,
And amazed that a wife struck to widowhood
Thought first of her unkempt room.
"The Slow Nature" by Thomas Hardy
Frolicsome din of interrupted rhymes —
Temptation for decline, so free and so easy —
Just leave for use by jokers in a dance
On city streets for people who aren't busy.
"To a Poet" by Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev
“’Tis very plain he’d struck it fat,
The dufferin’ Lunnon muff;
The scoff and butt of Lambing Flat,
Who always got it rough,
Could strike his fortune where he sat;
The joker held the stuff.
"The Sleeping Beauty" by Henry Lawson
We would hear the stallions whinny, and then the water splash -
That latter was our signal-through the deadwood with a crash
We were at them-you on joker, I on Harlequin, and Mick
Would be with us, just as eager as his jumper, Elsternwick.
"The Nights at Rocky Bar" by Harry Breaker Morant

In news:

Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips has been saying lately in response to questions about his future that if he was going to be fired someone would have said something to him by now.
Kentucky's Joker Phillips on Sunday became the second college head football coach to be fired this season.
Kentucky head football coach Joker Phillips has been saying lately in response to questions about his future that if he was going to be fired someone would have said something to him by now.
Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips walks off the field after his team's 40-0 loss to Vanderbilt in an NCAA college football game at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.
Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips walks off the field after his team's 40-0 loss to Vanderbilt in an NCAA college football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.
Lexington — Kentucky football coach Joker Phillips knew after Saturday's embarrassing loss to Vanderbilt that keeping his job would be tough.
Kentucky announces Joker Phillips is out at season's end.
Joker Phillips, seen here during Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt, was fired after his team's 1-9 start.
Was Heath Ledger 's Joker Inspired by Tom Waits.
With Apologies To Heath Ledger When I watched "The Dark Knight", I thought there was no better villain, ever, than Heath Ledger as the Joker.
At Sunday night's MTV Movie Awards, Christian Bale got misty-eyed after watching a montage of Christopher Nolan's "Batman" films, which included a few scenes with the late Heath Ledger playing the Joker in "The Dark Knight.
Climate Joker Thursday, December 06, 2012.
So nice in fact, Kentucky coach Joker Phillips has jokingly questioned if a couple of the younger offensive lineman talk.
CU-Boulder student arrested after wearing 'Joker' mask to movie theater.
Like for instance, the Joker in "The Dark Knight", clown masked his comrades in crime.

In science:

For handling these variables, one can introduce an additional joker state which we denote by a “⋆”.
Constraint Satisfaction by Survey Propagation
Correspondingly, the new message is sent if this vertex is not fixed to a single color, i.e. if it is in the joker state.
Constraint Satisfaction by Survey Propagation
Internally, this matching engine produces a list of sub-sequences which carry annotations which part of the pattern they matched, or if they lie between patterns, plus information about identifications of jokers within these patterns.
A novel approach to symbolic algebra
Furthermore, there are other special classes of jokers that e.g. match a sublist of arbitrary length of a given list (an inherently nondeterministic specification).
A novel approach to symbolic algebra
Exhausting strategies, joker games and full completeness for IMLL with unit.
Simple free star-autonomous categories and full coherence
Exhausting strategies, joker games and full completeness for IMLL with unit.
Simple multiplicative proof nets with units
For this last case we have introduced the unifying joker state ∗.
Message passing for vertex covers
Note that also this information is sufficient to be exploited algorithmically: If a vertex is assigned the joker state, it can be chosen liberally to be covered or to be uncovered during graph decimation.
Message passing for vertex covers
In this case, we therefore find ˜πi = ∗, i.e. vertex i is found to be in the joker state.
Message passing for vertex covers
We see that in this rule no difference between always covered and joker vertices j ∈ N (i) exists, which explains the use of the minimum warning in definition (6).
Message passing for vertex covers
The color coding of the vertices corresponds to the values of ˜πi and the ˜πj |i : Value zero is represented by a white dot, value one by a black dot, and the joker value ∗ by a gray dot.
Message passing for vertex covers
The prefactor 1/2 in front of the number of joker vertices is not a direct result of WP.
Message passing for vertex covers
For the derivation of the second expression we have used that the single non-zero warning among the messages reaching a joker vertex can be chosen liberally in between all d incoming edges.
Message passing for vertex covers
Inside such a cluster of minimum VCs, a vertex i may either be always covered (state 1), never covered (state 0) or sometimes covered and sometimes not (joker state ∗).
Message passing for vertex covers
For small random graphs as used in Ref. , it is very likely that all the minimal VC solutions can be grouped into a single cluster (but with long-range frustrations among those vertices described by the joker state ∗ ).
Message passing for vertex covers