The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Jest \Jest\ (j[e^]st), n. [OE. jeste, geste, deed, action,
story, tale, OF. geste, LL. gesta, orig., exploits, neut. pl.
from L. gestus, p. p. of gerere to bear, carry, accomplish,
perform; perh. orig., to make to come, bring, and perh. akin
to E. come. Cf. Gest a deed, Register, n.]
1. A deed; an action; a gest. [Obs.]
The jests or actions of princes. --Sir T.
2. A mask; a pageant; an interlude. [Obs.] --Nares.
He promised us, in honor of our guest,
To grace our banquet with some pompous jest. --Kyd.
3. Something done or said in order to amuse; a joke; a
witticism; a jocose or sportive remark or phrase. See
Synonyms under Jest, v. i.
I must be sad . . . smile at no man's jests. --Shak.
The Right Honorable gentleman is indebted to his
memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his
4. The object of laughter or sport; a laughingstock.
Then let me be your jest; I deserve it. --Shak.
In jest, for mere sport or diversion; not in truth and
reality; not in earnest.
And given in earnest what I begged in jest. --Shak.
Jest book, a book containing a collection of jests, jokes,
and amusing anecdotes; a Joe Miller.