How to describe someone faking a laugh without deliberately saying it. Just hint at it.

  • He laughed / chuckled / grinned / smiled politely. But note that laughed wryly usually implies "insincerity", for whatever reason. Apr 14 at 13:33
  • 4
    Hello Min. details please What is the situation that you want to use this? Why do you want to "hint". Why do you want to describe a fake laugh? Who are you talking to WHo are you talking about?? Do you have any suggestions, or ideas that you think don't work? Please give as many details as will help us to answer the question.
    – James K
    Apr 14 at 13:40
  • Why do you mean by "fake" -- an actor attempting to laugh on stage, a "stage laugh", or attempting to seem realistic? Or someone hoping to be perceived by others as finding something funny when in their heart they are offended by it? Or someone attempting to present a "stiff upper lip" when inside they feel the opposite?
    – TimR
    Apr 14 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this, partly because there are different kinds of fake laughter and different reasons for doing so.

For example, a person may:

  • laugh at a joke that isn't funny so as to not hurt someone's feelings
  • laugh sarcastically to mock someone
  • only be able to force a small laugh
  • over-compensate and laugh too much.

If you don't want to state that the laugh was "faked" or "forced", then a subtle way might be to contrast the laughter with a description of the person's true emotions or body language.

For example:

  • he let out a laugh as he looked down and shuffled his feet.
  • he laughed at the joke, whilst planning his departure.
  • he doubled over in laughter, knowing the joke didn't deserve it
  • 2
    A good answer to a vague question.
    – TimR
    Apr 14 at 13:45

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