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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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

Where some see an English original, others see a clown. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Boris Johnson and ‘Brexit minister’ resign, leaving Theresa May’s government in disarray," 9 July 2018 The musical restores Bert and Kitty (Arnie Burton and Kathryn Fitzgerald) as clowns and goes in another direction. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Royal Family of Broadway,’ This Time in Song," 5 July 2018 Bill Skarsgard stars as Pennywise, the creepy-clown incarnation of the title creature, while Jaeden Lieberher plays the ringleader of the local kids. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "Saturday's TV highlights and weekend talk shows: 'Ransom' on CBS," 30 June 2018 Words of encouragement were a more common occurrence as floats, marching bands and clowns lined the streets. Eder Campuzano, OregonLive.com, "Showers don't dampen spirit of Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade," 9 June 2018 The most notorious real-life gangster portrayed in Goodfellas didn’t go down for the Lufthansa heist, whacking Billy Batts, robbery, murders or aiding and abetting Joe Pesci being called a clown. Chris Chase, For The Win, "11 biggest scandals in sports gambling history," 16 May 2018 Then there is the movie career in which Williams tried to break away from his persona as the manic clown and have his acting taken seriously. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Doc Talk: A sad clown and a happy collector," 12 July 2018 Marchers included the American Legion Color Guard, Civil War re-enactors, local and state politicians in antique cars, fire trucks, clowns and Hinsdale Central’s Red Devils marching band and state champion girls lacrosse team. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Parade, craft fair and turtle races mark Fourth of July fun in Hinsdale," 5 July 2018 Classic cars, clowns and community businesses also took part in the parade. Cortlynn Stark, Hana Muslic, Katie Bernard And Edward Mckinley, kansascity, "From Prairie Village to Parkville, KC area celebrates the Fourth," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 When Malenkov asks whatever became of a former colleague, a pall draws over the room, until Beria and Khrushchev begin clowning around to distract Stalin from his potentially lethal rage. Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, "The Death of Stalin Is a Wicked Farce," 16 Mar. 2018 But Groucho was also an accomplished crowd-worker, and this was the bulk of the show, as Ferrante-as-Groucho clowned with audience members. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Frank Ferrante in 'Groucho': A loving look at a comic hero (and crowd-worker)," 19 Feb. 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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Learn More about clown

Dictionary Entries near clown

Clovis I

clow

clowder

clown

clown's allheal

clownage

clown car

Phrases Related to clown

play the clown

the class clown

Statistics for clown

Last Updated

12 Oct 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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