clown

noun
\ ˈklau̇n How to pronounce clown (audio) \

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

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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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 His young study subjects instinctively imitated grown-ups who were rough with Bobo, hitting the clown with abandon. Erin Blakemore, Popular Science, "Five dolls that changed the world," 21 Sep. 2020 Just before kick-off against the Minnesota Vikings, Cuenca added a simple, but defining touch: a clown nose. Sarah Ravits, NOLA.com, "Dome from home: How Saints superfans are handling the upcoming season," 7 Sep. 2020 As a result, Cohen is largely being treated like a clown. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Why Doesn’t Michael Cohen Get to Be an Anti-Trump Crusader?," 10 Sep. 2020 There are egrets, pelicans, and roseate spoonbills dabbling their clown-shoe beaks in the shallow water for tasty crustaceans — like the tiny crabs scuttling everywhere that keep nervous hikers on tiptoe. Daniel Lee, National Review, "The Art of Parallel Purposes," 7 Sep. 2020 He was always dismissed as a clown in New York City. Jason Silverstein, CBS News, "Cuomo says Trump "better have an army" to walk down the streets of NYC," 4 Sep. 2020 Opportunity knocked, as loudly as some clown banging on a trash can, and the A’s were unable to answer the door. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "A’s, sailing smoothly only a few days ago, need to quickly right the ship," 30 Aug. 2020 That would be It, the creepy clown created by Stephen King. Lauren Smith Mcdonough And Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "26 Fun and Scary Halloween Facts to Trick (or Treat) Your Friends," 14 Aug. 2020 The other evening, as fires and riots raged in Kenosha — in a Midwestern swing state vital for presidential candidates — CNN twisted itself into a ridiculous knot and became a clown show. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Democrats play with matches. Does Joe Biden get burned?," 29 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even McCarthy clowned him by imitating the eldest Kardashian’s famously monotone voice. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "The worst guesses on The Masked Singer season 3 so far," 3 Apr. 2020 This particular compound of grandiosity and insecurity is an artisanal microbrew, and McElhenney does good work clowning his eyebrows into attitudes expressive of pure contempt and unsteady comprehension. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Sweet, Silly “Mythic Quest” Is “The Office” for Game Developers," 7 Feb. 2020 There’s one acceptable outcome to their season, and reality-check losses like this one help them get closer to that a lot more than starting 8-0 by clowning clueless teams like Washington, the Jets, and the Browns. BostonGlobe.com, "In the long run, they’ll be better for it.," 5 Nov. 2019 That didn’t stop fans from clowning Bosa after the 49ers loss. cleveland, "49ers’ Nick Bosa roasted after missing out on meeting Trump," 3 Feb. 2020 However, not everyone who lives near the location is thrilled with the Joker fans clowning around. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "The Stairs in Joker Have Become a N.Y.C. Tourist Destination — and Some Locals Aren't Happy," 23 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile on Instagram, people were getting their popcorn ready and literally clowning Trump and others. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Here Are the Juiciest Donald Trump Impeachment Memes We Could Find," 25 Sep. 2019 Bill Skarsgård wasn’t clowning around in his preparations to play Pennywise. Clark Collis, EW.com, "It: Chapter 2 star Bill Skarsgård talks Pennywise: 'Subtle's the wrong word for this character'," 10 Dec. 2019 The costuming, with the players in circusy outfits and the chorus members wearing their own clothes, looks haphazard, and the carnival clowning on stage gets in the way of the plot. BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Lyric Opera takes ‘Pagliacci’ to the circus - The Boston Globe," 29 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for clown

Time Traveler

The first known use of clown was in 1563

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Statistics for clown

Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clown. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for clown

clown

noun
How to pronounce clown (audio)

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
informal : 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 How to pronounce clown (audio) \

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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