The Devil’s Dictionary: 24 Funniest Definitions
Here you may find the funniest definitions from The Devil’s Dictionary. It was written by Ambrose Bierce, who was also known as “Bitter Bierce”. You may have hated him back in high school when you had to read his short stories. We hope, however, that you have forgiven him since then. Even if you haven’t, these funny definitions will still make you laugh, or we’re not Humoropedia.com.
1. Mad: affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
2. Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
3. Quote: the act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
4. Sabbath: a weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.
5. Corporation: an ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
6. Politeness: The most acceptable hypocrisy.
7. Coward: one who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
8. Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
9. Acquaintance: a person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
10. Telephone: an invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
11. Consult: to seek approval for a course of action already decided upon.
12. Bore: a person who talks when you wish him to listen.
13. Revolution: in politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
14. Eulogy: praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.
15. Anoint: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
16. Genealogy: an account of one’s descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.
17. Forgetfulness: a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.
18. Backbite: to speak of a man as you find him when he can’t find you.
19. Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
20. Clairvoyant: a person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron – namely, that he is an idiot.
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21. Wall Street: a symbol for sin for every devil to rebuke. That Wall Street is a den of thieves is a belief that serves every unsuccessful thief in place of a hope in Heaven. Even the great and good Andrew Carnegie has made his profession of faith in the matter.
22. Satire: an obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author’s enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we
are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. Moreover, although Americans are “endowed by their Creator” with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a soul-spirited knave, and his ever victim’s outcry for co-defendants evokes a national assent.
23. Understanding: A cerebral secretion that enables one having it to know a house from a horse by the roof on the house. Its nature and laws have been exhaustively expounded by Locke, who rode a house, and Kant, who lived in a horse.
24, Weather: the climate of the hour. A permanent topic of conversation among persons whom it does not interest, but who have inherited the tendency to chatter about it from naked arboreal ancestors whom it keenly concerned. The setting up official weather
bureaus and their maintenance in mendacity prove that even governments are accessible to suasion by the rude forefathers of the jungle.