Joking that your dead grandmother "never looked better" could inject some levity, or frivolity, into her funeral, but your relatives might find your joke inappropriate to the occasion.

  • Pronunciation: / 'lɛvəti/
  • English Description: the trait of being frivolous; not serious or sensible
  • Chinese Translation: 轻率(qing1 shuai4)
  • Spanish Translation: frivolidad
  • STORY: Levity literally means "lightness," and it's often an attempt to inject some lightness or humor into an otherwise somber situation. Telling your Aunt Edna a joke while she recuperates from a skiing accident could provide the levity needed to brighten her mood. Yet levity is often used to describe humor that's not appropriate to the occasion, like telling your Aunt the joke, "Two corpses walk into a bar..." after her husband has just died.


  • For anyone seated at stage level, just feet from the bounding ballerinas, there was no illusion of ethereal levity here.
  • But the levity obscures the feelings that were actually sweeping through baseball front offices on Tuesday.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in Vocabulary.com