Definition of clown car
1 : a small car used in a circus act during which an implausibly large number of clowns emerge from the car for humorous effect A Toyota Corolla, which had screeched to a halt in front of the church just moments before, looked like a clown car as a surprising number of people piled out … — Kimberly Stevens, The New York Times, 1 Aug. 1999 —often used figuratively in reference to a thing or situation that seems surprisingly overcrowded or too full The project's cast of managers looked like an interagency clown car. — Marc Fisher and Bill Turque, The Washington Post, 21 May 2013 This movie is quickly becoming a clown car of comic book characters. — Tony Hicks, The Contra Costa (California) Times, 20 Dec. 2013
2 informal + disparaging : a small car But in the 1980's the Japanese models grew from cute little clown cars to solid, quiet, and most importantly, dependable beasts of burden. — Robert Harless, Horsepower War, 2004 … the fear that anyone advocating real action will be accused of wanting to reduce living standards and forcing Americans to drive teeny-tiny clown cars. — Bill McKibben, American Prospect, October 2005
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First Known Use of clown car
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