Definition of spoof in English:



  • 1A humorous imitation of something, typically a film or a particular genre of film, in which its characteristic features are exaggerated for comic effect.

    ‘a Robin Hood spoof’
    • ‘But it failed to key me up, just as the subject matter, perhaps deliberately, left me never quite sure whether this was an earnest morality tale or a spoof and a send-up.’
    • ‘None of it seems to come from anywhere but the Coens' desire to make another airtight (airless, I would say) genre spoof.’
    • ‘The danger with satires of this sort is that film-makers, in trying to make their production a viable entry into the genre as well as a spoof of it, lose sight of the initial goal.’
    • ‘Whether you enjoy show tunes, film spoofs or self-indulgent explorations of the artist's life - or if you simply want to stalk TV stars - read on.’
    • ‘The creators of cult the TV hit make their bid for big screen super-stardom with a comic spoof of George Romero's zombie movies, with surprisingly hilarious results.’
    • ‘And yes, he's a talented musician who does wonderful spoofs and pastiches.’
    • ‘This is a very big, brawling mix of ideas and interviews, with wacky clips, spoofs and pastiches, some devastatingly funny and pertinent, some of them pretty lame.’
    • ‘So many spoofs today make only token gestures towards the genre they're aping, then look for laughs in deliberate anachronisms.’
    • ‘In fact, the film pretty neatly sums up why the genre died in the first place - too many films with bad improv comics starring in dismal spoofs of things that have pretty much been spoofed to death.’
    • ‘The short film is a funny spoof substituting killer bread for man-eating zombies.’
    • ‘The video depicts a spoof of the film Bugsy Malone, splurge guns and all, and is something of a classic.’
    • ‘And a later spoof of a school educational film is considerably less effective.’
    • ‘This is just one of the reasons why this sly, sci-fi spoof of a short film is such a welcome surprise.’
    • ‘The film has oodles of charm and avoids the obvious pitfalls of comic Mafia spoofs.’
    • ‘There are certainly examples dating back to the 1870s of photographers mixing up different images to make jokes or spoofs.’
    • ‘All the laborious editing serves slight purpose, and presents the wearying phenomenon of a spoof of a schlock genre that is virtually a parody of itself.’
    • ‘Like Dreamworks' films, the pop-culture references are here, and movie spoofs are anything but thin on the ground.’
    • ‘Being a spoof on a spoof might be cleverish, but I suspect that the only audience it will find is the audience that it seeks to deride.’
    • ‘It is a classic comedy spoof on the disaster films of the 1970s.’
    • ‘Oh, how indie it's become to turn cult films into musical spoofs.’
    parody, pastiche, burlesque, take-off, skit, imitation
    View synonyms
  • 2A trick played on someone as a joke.

    ‘word got out that the whole thing had been a spoof’
    • ‘Another claim on the Web page is that you can use it to ‘send your buddies games and hilarious news spoofs.’’
    hoax, trick, joke, game
    View synonyms


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1Imitate (something) while exaggerating its characteristic features for comic effect.

    ‘it is a movie that spoofs other movies’
    • ‘It's obvious the writers have fun with spoofing the superhero genre.’
    • ‘Ultimately, the joke is on the audience, as the cast and crew parody and spoof the reality TV genre with insights and a biting intimacy few others could understand or capture.’
    • ‘A former design student turned artist, Yolacan spoofs the fashion industry and its obsession with youth and ephemerality - but gently.’
    • ‘It also is not for people who have not seen the movies it is spoofing as the humor will not mean much to them.’
    • ‘The picture is good at spoofing the hermetic atmosphere of academia without going overboard into parody or caricature.’
    • ‘It offended moralists because of its unashamed exploitation of the naked female body, but it was also playful, innovative and funny, spoofing sexuality and celebrating female independence.’
    • ‘Various character traits and catchphrases are spoofed, and to get the humor in these moments, a viewer will need to know where they came from.’
    • ‘The individual loses their identity, while the institution is also victimized because it is spoofed.’
    • ‘Perhaps acknowledging this incongruity, he spoofed his desperation in a series of photographs that mock his suicide.’
    • ‘In many photographs he appears to spoof the efforts of the average camera-toting museum visitor by allowing the bright lights to obscure crucial areas of a given painting.’
    • ‘I asked him if he would join me in spoofing the series with a short promotion spot to run on the air during the week.’
    • ‘If you remember the '80s teen classics and want a movie that spoofs them well, look elsewhere.’
    • ‘Mick O'Shea uses toy trains to spoof the art world.’
    • ‘We weren't like, ‘Let's spoof all the camp movies.’’
    • ‘Fela promptly recorded a track titled after the Lagos prison, spoofing the authorities.’
    • ‘Did you consider that far from spoofing the music, you were actually helping it a lot, and giving it a bigger fanbase?’
    • ‘Another feature of the cartoon that has been overtly spoofed over the years is the formulaic unfolding of the plot.’
    • ‘The trailer is actually pretty funny, spoofing the whole ‘interviewing people as they come out of the theater’ idea.’
    • ‘Yeah, it's getting more and more difficult to spoof this culture.’
    • ‘A Canadian production, it spoofed the entertainment industry via a cast of impossibly naive characters.’
    parody, take off, burlesque, pastiche, make fun of
    View synonyms
  • 2Hoax or trick (someone)

    ‘they proceeded to spoof Western intelligence with false information’
    • ‘I wonder, having spoofed us for two years, are they trying to send us gullible mugs the same signal?’
    deceive, delude, hoodwink, mislead, take in, dupe, fool, double-cross, cheat, defraud, swindle, outwit, outmanoeuvre, catch out, gull, hoax, bamboozle, beguile
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Interfere with (radio or radar signals) so as to make them useless.
      ‘that meant that the Americans might not be able to jam or spoof his systems’


Late 19th century: coined by Arthur Roberts (1852–1933), English comedian.