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’
    • ‘None of it seems to come from anywhere but the Coens' desire to make another airtight (airless, I would say) genre spoof.’
    • ‘It is a classic comedy spoof on the disaster films of the 1970s.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Oh, how indie it's become to turn cult films into musical spoofs.’
    • ‘There are certainly examples dating back to the 1870s of photographers mixing up different images to make jokes or spoofs.’
    • ‘Like Dreamworks' films, the pop-culture references are here, and movie spoofs are anything but thin on the ground.’
    • ‘The video depicts a spoof of the film Bugsy Malone, splurge guns and all, and is something of a classic.’
    • ‘The short film is a funny spoof substituting killer bread for man-eating zombies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And yes, he's a talented musician who does wonderful spoofs and pastiches.’
    • ‘And a later spoof of a school educational film is considerably less effective.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So many spoofs today make only token gestures towards the genre they're aping, then look for laughs in deliberate anachronisms.’
    • ‘This is just one of the reasons why this sly, sci-fi spoof of a short film is such a welcome surprise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The film has oodles of charm and avoids the obvious pitfalls of comic Mafia spoofs.’
    • ‘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.’
    parody, pastiche, burlesque, take-off, skit, imitation
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  • 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
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[with object]informal
  • 1Imitate (something) while exaggerating its characteristic features for comic effect.

    ‘it is a movie that spoofs other movies’
    • ‘Yeah, it's getting more and more difficult to spoof this culture.’
    • ‘The individual loses their identity, while the institution is also victimized because it is spoofed.’
    • ‘If you remember the '80s teen classics and want a movie that spoofs them well, look elsewhere.’
    • ‘Another feature of the cartoon that has been overtly spoofed over the years is the formulaic unfolding of the plot.’
    • ‘The picture is good at spoofing the hermetic atmosphere of academia without going overboard into parody or caricature.’
    • ‘Fela promptly recorded a track titled after the Lagos prison, spoofing the authorities.’
    • ‘Perhaps acknowledging this incongruity, he spoofed his desperation in a series of photographs that mock his suicide.’
    • ‘Did you consider that far from spoofing the music, you were actually helping it a lot, and giving it a bigger fanbase?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We weren't like, ‘Let's spoof all the camp movies.’’
    • ‘A Canadian production, it spoofed the entertainment industry via a cast of impossibly naive characters.’
    • ‘It also is not for people who have not seen the movies it is spoofing as the humor will not mean much to them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mick O'Shea uses toy trains to spoof the art world.’
    • ‘It's obvious the writers have fun with spoofing the superhero genre.’
    • ‘A former design student turned artist, Yolacan spoofs the fashion industry and its obsession with youth and ephemerality - but gently.’
    • ‘The trailer is actually pretty funny, spoofing the whole ‘interviewing people as they come out of the theater’ idea.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    parody, take off, burlesque, pastiche, make fun of
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  • 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
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    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.