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Humorous vs. Funny: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 7, 2023
Humorous often implies a more gentle, subtle wit; Funny typically elicits laughter and amusement.

Key Differences

Humorous is a term that generally describes something that has the quality of humor, often a more refined or subtle kind. Funny, on the other hand, directly refers to something that causes laughter or amusement, often more immediately or overtly.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
A humorous remark might make one smile or think due to its cleverness or wit. A funny joke, however, often evokes spontaneous laughter.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
One might consider a witty play on words or a clever observation as humorous. In contrast, slapstick comedy or a hilarious mishap might be labeled as outright funny.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
It's important to understand that both humorous and funny can describe things that make people laugh, but humorous often carries an undertone of intelligence or wit, while funny is more broad-ranging and can be used to describe anything that causes laughter.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
Humorous can sometimes be used to describe a consistent quality in a person or piece of work, suggesting a tendency to view things in a lighthearted way. Funny, meanwhile, is often more momentary or situational, describing specific incidents or remarks that elicit laughter.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature of Humor

Subtle, clever, witty
Direct, often immediate
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Reaction Evoked

Might cause a smile or thoughtful amusement
Typically causes outright laughter
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Use in Literature/Film

Describes works with consistent light-hearted or witty elements
Describes moments or scenes of comedy
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Associated Adverb

Humorously
Funnily
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Degree of Intellectuality

Often implies a degree of wit or intellect
Can be intellectual or just amusing
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
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Humorous and Funny Definitions

Humorous

Light-hearted or jocular in nature.
His humorous anecdotes always brightened up the room.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Funny

Pertaining to fun or entertainment.
We had a funny day at the amusement park.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Humorous

Pertaining to or characteristic of humor.
The speech had a humorous tone that kept the audience engaged.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Funny

Expressing humor, comically.
She has a funny way of telling stories.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Humorous

Displaying wit or a clever observation.
Her humorous take on modern art was refreshing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Funny

Invoking humor in an immediate sense.
That joke he just told was really funny.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Humorous

Full of or characterized by humor; funny
A humorous story.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Causing laughter or amusement
A funny cartoon.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Employing or showing humor; witty
A humorous writer.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Making or given to making amusing jokes or witticisms
A colleague who is very funny.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

(Archaic) Given to moods or whims; capricious.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Appropriate as the subject of a joke; deserving of a joke. Used in negative sentences to express disapproval or to emphasize the seriousness of something
There is nothing funny about getting the flu.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

(Obsolete) Damp; moist.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Difficult to account for; unusual or odd
I had a funny feeling that she would call.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Full of humor or arousing laughter; funny.
The waiters were so humorous - one even did a backflip for us, when we asked him.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Suspiciously odd
It's funny how I seem to lose something every time he comes around.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Showing humor; witty, jocular.
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Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Counterfeit or fraudulent
Tried to pass off funny money as legitimate.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

(obsolete) Damp or watery.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

(Informal) Somewhat ill, painful, or abnormal
I felt funny after eating those clams. "a mole on his arm that has started to go funny" (Ann Cummins).
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

(obsolete) Dependent on or caused by one's humour or mood; capricious, whimsical.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Offensively forward or disrespectful
She told him off after he started to get funny.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Moist; humid; watery.
All founts wells, all deeps humorous.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Contrary to one's demands or expectations
Don't let the prisoners do anything funny.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Subject to be governed by humor or caprice; irregular; capricious; whimsical.
Rough as a storm and humorous as the wind.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

A joke; a witticism
"He laughed because he did not know I was not making a funny" (Jonathan Safran Foer).
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Full of humor; jocular; exciting laughter; playful; as, a humorous story or author; a humorous aspect.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Comic strips.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Full of or characterized by humor;
Humorous stories
Humorous cartoons
In a humorous vein
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

The section of a newspaper containing comic strips.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Causing amusement in a subtle way.
The author's humorous depiction of the character was quite endearing.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Funny

Amusing; humorous; comical.
When I went to the circus, I only found the clowns funny.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Humorous

Playfully comic or making gentle fun.
The cartoon was humorous without being offensive.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Funny

Strange or unusual, often implying unpleasant.
The milk smelt funny so I poured it away.
I've got a funny feeling that this isn't going to work.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Showing unexpected resentment.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Homosexual; gay
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

(informal) A joke.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

(informal) A comic strip.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

(rowing) A rowboat with both ends pointed and out of the water.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

(British) A narrow clinker-built boat for sculling.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

(nonstandard) In an unusual manner; strangely.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

In a manner seen as being typical of a homosexual, or indicating homosexuality
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Droll; comical; amusing; laughable; inciting laughter.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

A clinkerbuit, narrow boat for sculling.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Arousing or provoking laughter;
An amusing film with a steady stream of pranks and pratfalls
An amusing fellow
A comic hat
A comical look of surprise
Funny stories that made everybody laugh
A very funny writer
It would have been laughable if it hadn't hurt so much
A mirthful experience
Risible courtroom antics
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Beyond or deviating from the usual or expected;
A curious hybrid accent
Her speech has a funny twang
They have some funny ideas about war
Had an odd name
The peculiar aromatic odor of cloves
Something definitely queer about this town
What a rum fellow
Singular behavior
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Not as expected;
There was something fishy about the accident
Up to some funny business
Some definitely queer goings-on
A shady deal
Her motives were suspect
Suspicious behavior
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Experiencing odd bodily sensations;
Told the doctor about the funny sensations in her chest
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

In a strange manner;
A queerly inscribed sheet of paper
He acted kind of funny
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

In a comical manner;
She acted comically
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 16, 2023

Funny

Causing laughter or amusement.
The comedian was incredibly funny and had everyone in stitches.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Funny

Odd, unusual, or out of the ordinary.
There's something funny about the way he's acting today.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

FAQs

Can "humorous" have a negative connotation?

It can in contexts where humor might be deemed inappropriate.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Is "humorous" always associated with laughter?

Not always. It can be witty or entertaining without necessarily causing laughter.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

How can you use "humorous" in a sentence?

"The author's humorous take on politics made the book enjoyable."
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Can "funny" be used as a noun?

Not typically. But "funny" can refer to a joke or comic as in "read me a funny."
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

What is the origin of the word "Humorous"?

"Humorous" comes from the Latin word "humor", meaning "moisture" or "liquid", later relating to the body's humors and moods.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Are there synonyms for "humorous"?

Yes, including "witty", "amusing", and "comical".
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

What is the origin of "funny"?

"Funny" is derived from "fun", which originally meant "to cheat or hoax".
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Is "funny" always positive?

No, it can be used negatively, e.g., "There's a funny smell here."
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Does "humorous" mean the same as "funny"?

While both relate to causing amusement, "humorous" often suggests a subtler, more intellectual form of comedy.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

What part of speech is "humorous"?

"Humorous" is an adjective.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Can "humorous" describe a situation?

Yes, e.g., "It was a humorous misunderstanding."
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

What's the difference between "funny" and "humorous"?

While they overlap, "funny" is more general and can also imply strangeness or peculiarity.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Is there a noun form of "humorous"?

Yes, the noun form is "humor".
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Is "humorous" subjective or objective?

Subjective, as what is humorous to one person might not be to another.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

How can you use "funny" in a sentence?

"She told a funny story at the party."
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Is humor universal, or can what's "funny" vary culturally?

Humor can vary widely based on cultural, personal, and situational factors.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Can "funny" describe an odd situation?

Yes, e.g., "It's funny how things turned out."
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Is there an adverb form of "funny"?

Yes, it's "funnily".
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Can "funny" describe a feeling?

Yes, e.g., "My stomach feels funny."
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Are comedians always funny?

Humor is subjective, so what one person finds funny, another might not.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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