gFor other uses, see Humour (disambiguation).
"Hilarity" and "Hilarious" redirect here. For the U.S. Navy ship, see USS Hilarity (AM-241). For the stand-up special by Louis C.K., see Hilarious (film). For the Roman Catholic Pope Saint Hilarius, see Pope Hilarius.
Smiling can imply a sense of humour and a state of amusement, as in this painting of Falstaff by Eduard von Grützner.
Humour (or humor in American English) is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks, which taught that the balance of fluids in the human body, known as humours (Latin: humor, "body fluid"), controlled human health and emotion.
People of all ages and cultures respond to humour. Most people are able to experience humour—be amused, smile or laugh at something funny—and thus are considered to have a sense of humour. The hypothetical person lacking a sense of humour would likely find the behaviour inducing it to be inexplicable, strange, or even irrational. Though ultimately decided by personal taste, the extent to which a person finds something humorous depends on a host of variables, including geographical location, culture, maturity, level of education, intelligence and context. For example, young children may favour slapstick such as Punch and Judy puppet shows or cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, whose physical nature makes it accessible to them. By contrast, more sophisticated forms of humour such as satire require an understanding o
Main article: Theories of humour
Many theories exist about what humour is and what social function it serves. The prevailing types of theories attempting to account for the existence of humour include psychological theories, the vast majority of which consider humour-induced behaviour to be very healthy; spiritual theories,...