Definitions of Humor

The Following are thoughts and definitions of Humor

For an articles explaining humor and its component parts of wit, mirth, and laughter check out
Exploring the Land of Mirth and Funny or Tickling Our Funny Bone
For additional information visit our FAQs.



According to the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor
Therapeutic Humor is:

Any intervention that promotes health and wellness by stimulating a playful discovery, expression or appreciation of the absurdity or incongruity of life's situations. This intervention may enhance health or be used as a complementary treatment of illness to facilitate healing or coping, whether physical, emotional, cognitive, social or spiritual.

Definitions of Humor:

Humor is the capacity to perceive, appreciate, or express what is funny, amusing, incongruous, ludicrous, etc.


Humor is the healthy way of feeling a "distance" between one's self and the problem, a way of standing off and looking at one's problem with perspective.

Rollo May, Humanistic Psychologist


Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.

James Thurber


Humor is when an expected "future is replaced with an unexpected future. The more unexpected the more humorous.


For some humor is the "falling into place" (the "getting" it) and is not simply the unexpected surprise that is experienced as humorous.


Humor notes to remember:

If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.

"A smile is a whisper of a laugh."
—A child's definition

Humor Matters™

Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D.
Mirthologist and Clinical Psychologist
3972 Barranca Pkwy. Suite J-221
Irvine, CA 92606