\ 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


clowned; clowning; clowns

Definition of clown (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to act as or like a clown always clowning around

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The internet has since co-opted it, memed it hard, and transformed it into the soundtrack for nihilistic ennui and clown-show failure. Ew Staff,, 24 Jan. 2022 Owen has a revelation in therapy about his anger issues, and a clown suffers an emergency while working a birthday party. Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 Author Ian Fortey responded to the recipe and referenced Pennywise, the clown from King's 1986 horror novel It. Stephanie Wenger,, 21 Apr. 2022 Idle and an enormous clown did with Simon’s music on the least reverent side of the spectrum, that may be something best left to be discovered on its own when the show airs at a time TBD later this year. Chris Willman, Variety, 7 Apr. 2022 The McWeevil is made to look like the restaurant’s clown mascot, Ronald McDonald. Leada Gore |, al, 4 Apr. 2022 The first school is attended by die-hard audiophiles who mix and match components like a circus clown assembles an outfit. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 30 Mar. 2022 Jimmy Stewart's a clown and Charlton Heston also signs up for this ostentatious and loathsome three-ring ode to P.T. Barnum’s circus. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 The Kid Zone offerings, which include special guests, face painting, a balloon clown and contests, will be extended by an hour this year, 11 .m. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 22 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The image staring back at her doesn’t clown her or give her props on a life well-done. Washington Post, 26 Nov. 2021 The internet, righteous in its bitterness, immediately began to clown the man and his WandaVision cosplay, but Uzi logged on to explain that the diamond is actually centered, brokies. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 3 Feb. 2021 The song that gave the entire United Kingdom a chance to clown on Taylor Swift, which is the best gift the nation has received from an American since FDR’s Lend-Lease program. Nate Jones, Vulture, 11 Jan. 2021 Even McCarthy clowned him by imitating the eldest Kardashian’s famously monotone voice. Rachel Yang,, 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, 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., 5 Nov. 2019 That didn’t stop fans from clowning Bosa after the 49ers loss. cleveland, 3 Feb. 2020 However, not everyone who lives near the location is thrilled with the Joker fans clowning around. Georgia Slater,, 23 Oct. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of clown


1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clown


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



clown's allheal

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Statistics for clown

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Clown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for clown


\ 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


clowned; clowning

Kids Definition of clown (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on clown

Nglish: Translation of clown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clown for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about clown


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