Definition of spoof in US 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘None of it seems to come from anywhere but the Coens' desire to make another airtight (airless, I would say) genre spoof.’
    • ‘The video depicts a spoof of the film Bugsy Malone, splurge guns and all, and is something of a classic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are certainly examples dating back to the 1870s of photographers mixing up different images to make jokes or spoofs.’
    • ‘So many spoofs today make only token gestures towards the genre they're aping, then look for laughs in deliberate anachronisms.’
    • ‘Oh, how indie it's become to turn cult films into musical spoofs.’
    • ‘The short film is a funny spoof substituting killer bread for man-eating zombies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is just one of the reasons why this sly, sci-fi spoof of a short film is such a welcome surprise.’
    • ‘And yes, he's a talented musician who does wonderful spoofs and pastiches.’
    • ‘It is a classic comedy spoof on the disaster films of the 1970s.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like Dreamworks' films, the pop-culture references are here, and movie spoofs are anything but thin on the ground.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And a later spoof of a school educational film is considerably less effective.’
    • ‘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.’
    parody, pastiche, burlesque, take-off, skit, imitation
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  • 2A trick played on someone as a joke.

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


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