"laugh out loud" VS "laugh out loudly"

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She almost laughed out loud at herself, thinking she could trust her instincts about people.

"laugh out loud" VS "laugh out loudly", which is correct? I looked up they are all adv.

Zhang

Posted 2018-04-19T04:42:46.727

Reputation: 3 393

1you're probably thinking of the online abbreviation "LOL!" which is "laugh out loud." people only say this phrase in real life somewhat ironically in reference. – Rob – 2018-04-19T12:16:53.303

5@Rob: No, "to laugh out loud" is also a perfectly normal phrase... – psmears – 2018-04-19T14:44:56.183

as someone that has spoken American english his entire life, i challenge you to find a natural sounding sentence using this phrase. You might say in a movie review "It's laugh out loud hilarious!!!" but that's some canned phrase specific to movie reviews. I think the connotation is so strong to the online acronym at this point that you can't say "laugh out loud" without people assuming it's a reference to LOL. – Rob – 2018-04-19T19:47:59.797

@Rob, Actually, I read this from the book Single Write Woman which was publish in 1992. However, afterward, I realized it was the "LOL". DX – Zhang – 2018-04-20T00:38:09.753

Perhaps the short answer is, "laugh out loudly" is never a phrase – Rob – 2018-04-20T16:18:49.423

Answers

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You're right. They're both adverbs. However, you can only say either to laugh out loud or to laugh loudly. There is no such thing as the phrasal verb to laugh out in English. It just does not exist. And because of that alone, to laugh out loudly would be an incorrect phrasing. However, there does exist the idiom to laugh someone out of something, but it means something completely different. Look it up when you have a spare minute.

Out loud is an expression unto itself, by the way. It means talk, laugh, think, read or do whatever you're doing in a way that other people can hear. You can use it with all kinds of verbs that describe actions involving some form of oral interaction. Here are just a couple of examples:

He was reading the Bible out loud for the blind boy.

Say it out loud so that I can hear you.

When practicing your English, it's important to speak out loud.

Michael Rybkin

Posted 2018-04-19T04:42:46.727

Reputation: 37 124

1can I add the example "Oh sorry did I say that out loud?" for when you accidentally speak a thought. More in line with the original "laughed out loud" – WendyG – 2018-04-19T12:04:47.427

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I would like to add to Michael's fabulous answer, which is correct and I upvoted it.

The idiom "laugh out loud" has a cultural perspective that I can't prove with references right now because the Internet is filled with LOL references and I don't have the time to weed through them. (Memes...) But, here's the gist...

In many cultures it's considered rude to laugh at someone. And in many cultures (perhaps all but we of the U.S.), it is considered rude to be loud and boisterous. Thus, to "laugh out loud" suggests a either an impolite action meant to be disparaging of another person or a loss of control or decorum over an (apparently) outrageous situation.

Thus, in written English, if you were only trying to convey that someone's laughter had volume, you would say they "laughed loudly."

But if you wanted to convey the idea that they were responding to an outrageous situation or were rude, you would say they "laughed out loud."

JBH

Posted 2018-04-19T04:42:46.727

Reputation: 2 550

I don't think that "laugh out loud" would normally be considered an impolite action meant to be disparaging of another person... I'd associate "laughing at (someone)" or "laughing in (someone's) face" with intentional rudeness. – Hellion – 2018-04-19T16:52:15.480

@Hellion, as with all things in written English, it depends on the context of the story. "It hurt Diane's feelings when William saw her dress and laughed out loud." My point (which I hope was clear) is that the idiom carries various cultural weight that "laughed loudly" doesn't. – JBH – 2018-04-19T16:55:35.567