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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Synonyms for clown

Synonyms: Noun

buffo, buffoon, harlequin, zany

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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

The poison cherry on top of this rancid sundae, though, is the massive 5-foot-tall, hideously evil-in-a-good-way, clown head that acts as the 18th hole. Gunnar Johnson, southflorida.com, "8 South Florida mini-golf courses worth taking a swing at," 18 Apr. 2018 If the 2020 Democratic primary race is starting to feel a bit like a clown car, then there’s great news: one of the latest Dems to throw his hat in is quite the joker. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Teens Started Mike Gravel's Meme-Heavy 2020 Presidential Campaign," 9 Apr. 2019 Two soldiers in clown outfits made squeaky balloon animals for children, while a team of army engineers were fixing a nearby road, part of several infrastructure improvements. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, "Two years after Colombia’s peace accord, the historic pact is in jeopardy," 16 June 2018 Starting Thursday Clowning Around Line up a baby sitter, then head to the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science for a comedic adult clown performance, Yellow Bird in Space, presented by Liars & Believers. BostonGlobe.com, "Five things to do around Boston the week of June 4-10," 1 June 2018 Sometimes, the drag star posts are out of a horror movie: Think, a cheerful Ronald McDonald clown now with saber teeth, his yellow costume shredded into a half-shirt for a bondage flair. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Charity Kase Is the London Drag Star Whipping Up Fantastical Looks," 5 Sep. 2018 Surveillance video released by the police department shows five men wearing hoodies and one wearing a clown mask entering the game room around 4 a.m. in the 3200 block of North Beach Street Wednesday. William Axford, Houston Chronicle, "Police: Men stormed Fort Worth game room, robbed customers and shot woman," 15 Feb. 2018 As if this movie didn't have enough horrifying clowns already! Chanel Vargas, Good Housekeeping, "10 Extremely Chilling Things You Didn't Notice While Watching IT," 6 Oct. 2017 Schools bought out entire theaters to see this idealized version of global society, and kids saw heroes like them fighting an evil far more real than a monster from another planet or a nihilist clown. Matt Miller, Esquire, "Winston Duke Had Marvel's Greatest Introduction," 21 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This is not just a bunch of clowns getting clowned. Zan Romanoff, Vox, "What we get wrong about multilevel marketing, explained by the host of the popular podcast about it," 30 Nov. 2018 Now, that's skewed a little from clowning Vancouver 11-on-9 last weekend, and nobody else has played more matches than Sporting. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Moose and the Royals' rare pace, Chiefs' draft, and one more Bud Lathrop story | The Kansas City Star," 24 Apr. 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near clown

Clovis I

clow

clowder

clown

clown's allheal

clownage

clown car

Statistics for clown

Last Updated

11 May 2019

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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on clown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clown

Spanish Central: Translation of clown

Nglish: Translation of clown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clown for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about clown

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