• WordNet 3.6
    • adj ridiculous inspiring scornful pity "how silly an ardent and unsuccessful wooer can be especially if he is getting on in years"- Dashiell Hammett"
    • adj ridiculous broadly or extravagantly humorous; resembling farce "the wild farcical exuberance of a clown","ludicrous green hair"
    • adj ridiculous incongruous; inviting ridicule "the absurd excuse that the dog ate his homework","that's a cockeyed idea","ask a nonsensical question and get a nonsensical answer","a contribution so small as to be laughable","it is ludicrous to call a cottage a mansion","a preposterous attempt to turn back the pages of history","her conceited assumption of universal interest in her rather dull children was ridiculous"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A spinster instructs a group of younger ladies on the unnecessary nature of husbands. The caption says, “Nonsense, my dears! Husbands are ridiculous things & are quite unnecessary!” A spinster instructs a group of younger ladies on the unnecessary nature of husbands. The caption says, “Nonsense, my...

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There is an organization called SCROOGE in Charlottesville, Virginia that stands for Society to Curtail Ridiculous, Outrageous, and Ostentatious Gift Exchanges. This was formed to keep gift giving affordable and simple
    • Ridiculous Fitted to excite ridicule; absurd and laughable; unworthy of serious consideration; as, a ridiculous dress or behavior. "Agricola, discerning that those little targets and unwieldy glaives ill pointed would soon become ridiculous against the thrust and close, commanded three Batavian cohorts . . . to draw up and come to handy strokes."
    • Ridiculous Involving or expressing ridicule. "It] provokes me to ridiculous smiling."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: President Grover Cleveland was a draft dodger. He hired someone to enter the service in his place, for which he was ridiculed by his political opponent, James G. Blaine. It was soon discovered, however, that Blaine had done the same thing himself.
    • ridiculous Worthy of ridicule or contemptuous laughter; exciting derision; amusingly absurd; preposterous.
    • ridiculous Expressive of ridicule; derisive; mocking.
    • ridiculous Abominable; outrageous; shocking.
    • ridiculous Synonyms Funny, Laughable, etc. (see ludicrous), absurd, preposterous, farcical.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Ridiculous deserving or exciting ridicule: absurd:
    • adj Ridiculous (obs.) outrageous
    • ***


  • Chinese Proverb
    Chinese Proverb
    “To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable, but to be certain is to be ridiculous.”
  • Lord Chesterfield
    “Honest error is to be pitied, not ridiculed.”
  • Andrea Dworkin
    “While gossip among women is universally ridiculed as low and trivial, gossip among men, especially if it is about women, is called theory, or idea, or fact.”
  • Albert Camus
    “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.”
  • C(harles) P(ercy) Snow
    C(harles) P(ercy) Snow
    “The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happiness you'll never find it.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.”


From the sublime to the ridiculous - If something declines considerably in quality or importance, it is said to have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ridiculosus, ridiculus, fr. ridere, to laigh. Cf. Risible
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. ridiculusridēre, to laugh.


In literature:

And was she in so doing really making herself ridiculous?
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873." by Various
His behaviour was frequently ridiculous, if it were not abominable.
"Literary Taste: How to Form It" by Arnold Bennett
It had been growing on him lately, this habit of starting at nothing, this ridiculous spasm of shoulder-blade, eyelids and mouth.
"The Divine Fire" by May Sinclair
His special task that day was to attack and ridicule the young man from Salem.
"The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln" by Francis Fisher Browne
How ridiculous the poor thing looks in his red clothes!
"The Nameless Castle" by Maurus Jókai
The thing's too ridiculous.
"Mr. Britling Sees It Through" by H. G. Wells
But it's a ridiculous undertaking.
"The Lure of the North" by Harold Bindloss
But it is a trifle ridiculous, and you must expect people to talk.
"The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories" by Gertrude Atherton
I simply won't look it because I don't care to be made ridiculous.
"The Lion's Share" by E. Arnold Bennett
It will be difficult and perhaps it will be ridiculous to say how my husband's first kiss shocked me.
"The Woman Thou Gavest Me" by Hall Caine

In poetry:

And he turned a little paler
When there came a sudden squall;
For this funny little sailor
Was ridiculously small.
"The Pirate Poodle" by Carolyn Wells
Should you employ your Ridicule,
On those who Pity claim?
Think, Birtha, is the native Fool
For Wit a proper Theme?
"Verses Sent To A Lady, Who Took Delight In Ridiculing A Person" by Mary Barber
His views of heaven were very free;
His views of life were painfully
Ridiculous; but fervently
He dwelt on marriage sanctity.
"A Moral Vindicator" by Francis Bret Harte
When dire misfortunes on us wait,
Pity, or ridicule's our fate.
Each is bestow'd, and each rejected;
Just as we're re-or dis-respected.
"The Parson In Pickle" by William Hutton
The quick of the earth burned out:
The toil of all our ages a loss
With leaf and insect. Yet flitting thought
(Not to be thought ridiculous)
"A Woman Unconscious" by Ted Hughes
Y was a young Yellowhammer,
Who raised a ridiculous clamor;
And he chattered until
An owl said, "Keep still!
I'm trying to study my grammar."
"An Alphabet Zoo" by Carolyn Wells

In news:

Over 100 entries defend their right to be ridiculous at this annual spoof of the Rose Parade.
Is there any way to check out daydreams to see if they are ridiculous fantasies or possible careers.
I have what should be a simple question and an easy issue to address: Why do we allow motorbikes to be so ridiculously loud.
I'm helpless, and it's absolutely ridiculous.
But even by DC standards, this is ridiculous.
"Isn't it a bit ridiculous, at the end of my days, to write a book about love".
Recently two airlines have been in the hot seat with passengers—Spirit Airlines and Ryanair—for charging what most people deem ridiculous extra fees.
The drive turned nasty on northbound Interstate 87, where strong crosswinds, sleet and light snow joined in ridicule of Mitsubishi's advertising claims.
How often do you see clothes in a magazine that would look ridiculous in real life.
Why the nap-free, 9-to-5, chained-to-your-desk work schedule is ridiculous.
Economic experts rate this scare tactic somewhere between "ridiculous" and "stupid.".
With the ridiculous amount of fake "Milk" that gets squirted around at Rammstein concerts, The Cookie Monster is lucky this isn't a live show.
Obama's Texas critics ridicule the president's new campaign slogan: #Forward.
Obama team's latest Twitter campaign wins hash tags — and ridicule — in Texas.
'transvaginal' abortion bill with ridicule .

In science:

The libraries, however, are dated and the license restrictions ridiculous.
Random Numbers in Scientific Computing: An Introduction
The preceding proof shows that the construction in Proposition 2.2 yields all presemifields, and each one in ridiculously many ways.
A projection construction for semifields
This means that the minimum required outer belt mass to replenish the exozodi at ∼ 10−6 M ⊕ /yr, shown in Fig. 13, are ridiculously high.
Scattering of small bodies by planets: a potential origin for exozodiacal dust ?
In the theory of large chaotic systems there are quantities that are so ridiculously hard to keep track of that we are inclined to think of them as completely meaningless.
Black Hole Complementarity and the Harlow-Hayden Conjecture
Somewhere between ridiculous pedantry and erroneous formulation there presumably exists a reasonably precise way of specifying a problem in English [Dodd 90].
Attempto Controlled English (ACE)