Definition of josh in US English:



[with object]informal
  • 1Tease (someone) in a playful way.

    ‘he loved to josh people’
    • ‘I don't know anyone here and my roommate has a girlfriend and so do the other guys in our suite, and they kept joshing me about being single because I didn't say anything about having one.’
    • ‘In my opinion, Green's not trying to josh anybody.’
    • ‘He spoke in Chinese with a translator, and displayed his well-known sense of humor by joshing the translator a bit.’
    • ‘He was joshing her and she knew it.’
    • ‘By now there was some sense of people joshing each other.’
    • ‘We joke around a lot, splashing paint on one another and Michael joshing me on how I just ‘love’ Madeline.’
    • ‘I noticed this, so I started to josh her, ‘You like those a lot?’’
    • ‘At various points the home fans joshed Ian Murray for the crime of being a former Hibs captain.’
    • ‘Come on, you know I am just joshing you.’
    • ‘The former chief earlier told the tribunal he had joshed his former friend about the payments during a jogging session in the Wicklow hills, while Mr Maloney contradicted him and claimed Mr O'Brien had told him about it in his office.’
    • ‘Faith joshed her as her best friend handed her another pair of clothes, this time, a beige skirt and a sleeveless lacy lavender v-neck.’
    • ‘‘We're just joshing Shane a bit,’ Everett said, putting an arm around Angel's shoulders.’
    • ‘Friends josh one another about rites whose public practice incites bloodshed in some other countries, such as Pakistan.’
    • ‘Dermot joshed me on my memory lapse but he gave me an opportunity to write about that particular project which has been on the back burner for a while.’
    • ‘Little Jasper Cosmo will have no problems amid the rarefied social circles occupied by the Howards, but he would find he was joshed at an inner city comprehensive.’
    • ‘The opposition leader was having a grand old time joshing the prime minister.’
    • ‘She's just joshing you, Auntie Rose is a nice old woman.’
    • ‘We were joshing each other and she just entered naturally into the discussion, and was pestering Hanzel to buy some.’
    • ‘She shook her head to tell me she was not joshing me, and that really was the definition of her relationship with Mr. Patrick.’
    make fun of, poke fun at, chaff, make jokes about, rag, mock, laugh at, guy, satirize, be sarcastic about
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    1. 1.1no object Engage in joking or playful talk with others.
      • ‘‘Yeah, it's pretty apparent,’ Gillian joshed.’
      • ‘‘There are two old ladies on your starboard side who want their money back’, he joshed.’
      • ‘The boy's so wired up he wants to hit him but the mate is laughing and joshing with him.’
      • ‘I'm grateful that tomorrow I'll be back to my comfortable chef's pants and clogs, able to josh with my coworkers and play with food, safely hidden from the dining room.’
      • ‘Each time he signs a book, Viselman gives out a bag of gourmet jelly beans and joshes with his new fans.’
      • ‘She bent slightly to look under his grimy hat to check if he was joshing with her.’
      • ‘Like a long-married couple they josh, tease, squabble, niggle and compete to put each other down, and, in doing so, carry the show far beyond the austere world of words into the foothills of sitcom.’
      • ‘They both mean the same thing, I know that, but I prefer joking and I've never used joshing before in my whole lifetime.’
      • ‘OK, I'm still just joshing - but take a hint already, will you?’
      • ‘Soon enough we were laughing and joshing and teasing our way along once more, the way we do.’
      • ‘Even when he joshed with them, the sycophantic laughter was always nervous.’
      • ‘There is also hassling and teasing and good-natured joshing that to an adult looks like vicious bullying but to a child is something different.’
      • ‘Lots of laughter and joshing and such, just as a Friday evening dinner should be.’
      • ‘They josh among themselves like members of an all-male club (which, of course, they are).’
      • ‘‘I think they just get that gift when they become mothers,’ Gillian joshed.’
      • ‘It takes a certain skill to do this well, juggling topics, joshing with callers and cracking jokes.’
      • ‘Nearby two of his associates josh with one another while keeping a close eye out for the law.’
      • ‘There's banter about the choice of music, some light-hearted joshing.’
      • ‘Even though I was, unsurprisingly, inebriated, and just wanted to lark and josh around with the lads.’
      • ‘Yes, I knew you were joshing, but I like to explain these things anyway, just in case there are other readers who aren't sure.’
      repartee, raillery, ripostes, sallies, swordplay, quips, wisecracks, crosstalk, wordplay
      joke, jest, pun, sally, quip
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North American
  • Good-natured banter.

    tease, make fun of, chaff
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Mid 19th century (as a verb): of unknown origin.