[ hyoo-mer or, often, yoo- ]SEE DEFINITION OF humorless
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


A Welsh rabbit, in the speech of the humorless, who point out that it is not a rabbit.

It was a stony smile, humorless as a crevasse in a rock-face.

While this goes on the fool does not cease to interpolate his humorless jokes.

Again that curious, humorless smile flickered about the corners of his mouth.

The captain was grinning, a nasty, evil grin, his eyes hard and humorless as he stood there flanked by three crewmen.

He might have been forty, though the humorless immobility of his face gave him a seeming of greater age.

Eben Tollman used, in his correspondence, a stilted formality which conjured up the portrait of one somewhat staid and humorless.

Besides, his remarkable unselfishness compelled their esteem, a shy vein of innocent, humorless sweetness their affection.

She affirmed it, and Dolores Donet got a tight, little, humorless smile on her face.

D'Ucello smiled at Daoud, a humorless grimace that stretched his thin mustache.


mid-14c., "fluid or juice of an animal or plant," from Old North French humour (Old French humor; Modern French humeur), from Latin umor "body fluid" (also humor, by false association with humus "earth"); related to umere "be wet, moist," and to uvescere "become wet," from PIE *wegw- "wet."

In ancient and medieval physiology, "any of the four body fluids" (blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy or black bile) whose relative proportions were thought to determine state of mind. This led to a sense of "mood, temporary state of mind" (first recorded 1520s); the sense of "amusing quality, funniness" is first recorded 1680s, probably via sense of "whim, caprice" (1560s), which also produced the verb sense of "indulge," first attested 1580s. "The pronunciation of the initial h is only of recent date, and is sometimes omitted ...." [OED] For types of humor, see the useful table below, from H.W. Fowler ["Modern English Usage," 1926].


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.