\ 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 Those days of tiptoeing around blush in fear of looking like a clown? Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 22 July 2022 Kardashian first shared a photo of little Chicago with some red makeup around her eyes, nose and mouth — reminiscent of a clown — followed by a photo of North, who had extra red makeup dripping down her chin and neck. Angela Andaloro,, 11 July 2022 About 10 days after the legislators’ letter, cartoon postcards were mailed anonymously to state officials and lawmakers, depicting Tromp as a clown. Daniel Golden, ProPublica, 4 July 2022 The movie begins with a young Cartier at her Catholic school being a class clown before cutting to her as an adult, performing as a lounge singer in Nevada. Okla Jones, Essence, 29 May 2022 So then this is what happens: the two party system by proxy puts this clown in a position to pick THREE conservative supreme court justices, THREE. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 24 June 2022 This clown car of a snack is loaded with toppings and is the Platonic ideal of the Mission District street dog. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 June 2022 Givenchy’s and Saint Sintra’s Spring 2022 collections took it quite literally with clown-like prints, textures, and colours. Kristen Bateman,, 4 Feb. 2022 Marty in particular becomes a caricature for much of the eight-episode season, which makes Ike’s manipulations of him monotonous — why wouldn’t this sad clown fall for the exact same line again and again and again? Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2021 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

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Clown.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 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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