clown

noun
\ˈklau̇n \

Definition of clown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a rude ill-bred person : boor

3a : a fool, jester, or comedian in an entertainment (such as a play) specifically : a grotesquely dressed comedy performer in a circus

b : a person who habitually jokes and plays the buffoon

c : joker sense 1b

clown

verb
clowned; clowning; clowns

Definition of clown (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to act as or like a clown always clowning around

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Synonyms for clown

Synonyms: Noun

buffo, buffoon, harlequin, zany

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Examples of clown in a Sentence

Noun

Those big shoes make you look like a clown! Who's the clown standing in the middle of the road? those clowns at the state capital
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Rails of Terror combines all the best elements of Halloween: creepy clowns, axe murders, wicked witches, even skeletons dressed as scarecrows. Megan Stein, Country Living, "This Haunted Halloween Train Ride Is the Best Way to Scare Yourself Silly," 23 Oct. 2018 In this four-monitor installation, slapstick indignities vex different clowns, including one who has a bucket repeatedly fall on his head in a 60-minute video loop. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, "‘Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts’ Review: Corralling a Lifetime of Creativity," 17 Oct. 2018 There’s a dexterous, gibberish-spouting clown on hand (Andrey Kislitsin) who has a funny extended gag fussing with washing machines on the fritz. Misha Berson, The Seattle Times, "In Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta,’ acro-bicyclists soar and an aerialist hovers in the air by her hair," 18 Sep. 2018 As floats, bands, clowns, queens and even a bull mastiff march down the streets of Portland, drivers, buses, MAX trains and other modes of transportation get delayed. Rosemarie Stein, OregonLive.com, "Traffic advisory: How to get around the 2018 Rose Festival Parade," 8 June 2018 After all, an evil clown costume never goes out of style. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "New Photos Show Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise on the Set of “It: Chapter 2”," 18 Sep. 2018 And though it might be seen as nepotism (Schwartzman is Coppola’s cousin), Schwartzman occupies the part with a sad clown grace that eventually leads to quiet resolve. refinery29.com, "Why Marie Antoinette Is Really Mean Girls, Versailles Edition," 10 July 2018 The afternoon’s clown is the evening’s tragic hero; yesterday’s princess is tomorrow’s wicked stepmother. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "The Return of the Artistic Company," 18 Feb. 2018 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: Pi Clowns Original clown vignettes blending mime, theater, acrobatics, juggling, and improvisation. SFChronicle.com, "Kids listings," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This is not just a bunch of clowns getting clowned. Zan Romanoff, Vox, "What we get wrong about multilevel marketing, explained by the host of the popular podcast about it," 30 Nov. 2018 Now, that's skewed a little from clowning Vancouver 11-on-9 last weekend, and nobody else has played more matches than Sporting. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Moose and the Royals' rare pace, Chiefs' draft, and one more Bud Lathrop story | The Kansas City Star," 24 Apr. 2018 Despite getting knocked out of the playoffs, Lance Stephenson is still here to clown J.R. Smith on Instagram. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "After J.R. Smith's Game 1 blunder, Lance Stephenson drops an Instagram burn," 1 June 2018 Seems as if the airlines are still clowning and being targeted with lawsuits because of the clownery. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Nigerian Woman, Who Was Removed From United Flight After a White Passenger Complained She Was ‘Pungent,’ Files Lawsuit," 14 May 2018 Wearing a black polka-dot dress with a signature red lip, Gomez posed for selfies with eager fans and clowned around with some of the youngest in the venue’s photobooth. Melania Hidalgo, PEOPLE.com, "Selena Gomez Surprises Fans at Hospital Prom — and Sticks Around for Selfies," 25 June 2018 Budda Baker was in Seattle this weekend and attended the UW football spring preview Saturday at Husky Stadium, where he was seen clowning around with his former coaches and teammates. Mike Carter, The Seattle Times, "Ballard shooting victim reportedly brother of ex-Husky star Budda Baker," 23 Apr. 2018 Minutes earlier, Stern delivered a characteristically bawdy address in honor of the classic New Jersey rockers, giving the band plenty of love while clowning on frontman Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora and Rolling Stone scion Jann Wenner. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Howard Stern's 10 best Bon Jovi jokes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction," 14 Apr. 2018 Digital assistants egg on every other appliance in the house to clown around. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "My Electronic Devices Are Laughing at Me," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clown.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clown

Noun

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clown

Noun

probably of Low German origin; akin to Frisian klönne clumsy fellow, Old English clyne lump of metal

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Dictionary Entries near clown

Clovis I

clow

clowder

clown

clown's allheal

clownage

clown car

Statistics for clown

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clown

The first known use of clown was in 1563

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More Definitions for clown

clown

noun

English Language Learners Definition of clown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who performs in a circus, who wears funny clothes and makeup, and who tries to make people laugh

: someone who often does funny things to make people laugh

: a rude or stupid person

clown

verb

English Language Learners Definition of clown (Entry 2 of 2)

: to act like a clown : to say funny things or act in a silly way

clown

noun
\ˈklau̇n \

Kids Definition of clown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a performer (as in a circus) who entertains by playing tricks and who usually wears comical clothes and makeup

2 : someone who does things to make people laugh

clown

verb
clowned; clowning

Kids Definition of clown (Entry 2 of 2)

: to act in a funny or silly way : act like a clown

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More from Merriam-Webster on clown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clown

Spanish Central: Translation of clown

Nglish: Translation of clown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clown for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about clown

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