Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

zany

play
noun za·ny \ˈzā-nē\

Definition of zany

plural zanies

  1. 1 :  a subordinate clown or acrobat in old comedies who mimics ludicrously the tricks of the principal :  merry-andrew

  2. 2 :  a slavish follower :  toady

  3. 3 a :  one who acts the buffoon to amuse others b :  nut, kook



Examples of zany

  1. <hired a zany to entertain the children at the birthday party>

  2. <one of the challenges of hosting a radio call-in program is preventing the zanies from completely taking over the discussion>



Origin of zany

Italian zanni, a traditional masked clown, from Italian dialect Zanni, nickname for Italian Giovanni John


First Known Use: 1588

Other Performing Arts Terms

Rhymes with zany


2

zany

adjective za·ny

Simple Definition of zany

  • : very strange and silly

Full Definition of zany

za·ni·erza·ni·est

  1. 1 :  being or having the characteristics of a zany

  2. 2 :  fantastically or absurdly ludicrous <a zany movie>

za·ni·ly play \ˈzā-nə-lē\ adverb
za·ni·ness play \ˈzā-nē-nəs\ noun

Examples of zany

  1. <a zany plan to drive cross-country on a motorized scooter>



1609

First Known Use of zany

1609

Other Performing Arts Terms



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up zany? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ