clown·​ish | \ ˈklau̇-nish How to pronounce clownish (audio) \

Definition of clownish

: resembling or befitting a clown (as in ignorance and lack of sophistication)

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Other Words from clownish

clownishly adverb
clownishness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for clownish

boorish, churlish, loutish, clownish mean uncouth in manners or appearance. boorish implies rudeness of manner due to insensitiveness to others' feelings and unwillingness to be agreeable. a drunk's boorish behavior churlish suggests surliness, unresponsiveness, and ungraciousness. churlish remarks loutish implies bodily awkwardness together with stupidity. a loutish oaf clownish suggests ill-bred awkwardness, ignorance or stupidity, ungainliness, and often a propensity for absurd antics. an adolescent's clownish conduct

Examples of clownish in a Sentence

the clownish antics of some of the teenagers at the wedding reception
Recent Examples on the Web At some point, people may have considered my choice of makeup or hair to be clownish — now, experimenting with beauty is encouraged. Jessica Cohen,, "How Social Media Helped Me Recognize My True Beauty," 27 Jan. 2021 Matt Gaetz, the Florida representative who has made a name for himself as a clownish C-list Trump-world celebrity, predictably declared war on Cheney on Hannity. The Editors, National Review, "In Defense of Liz Cheney," 17 Jan. 2021 There is no respectable way to argue otherwise, which is the main reason that Trump’s version of Option B looks so clownish. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump and a Lesson in How Coups Fail," 25 Nov. 2020 How low had Russia’s name sunk in the West, if clownish tricks like this were being played on us here? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, National Review, "An Encounter Sabotaged," 17 Nov. 2020 David Larible invited crowd members to take part in his clownish antics. Vincent Davis,, "Circo Hermanos Vazquez celebrates 50 years of thrilling crowds," 14 Nov. 2020 This sugar plum pays his good fortune forward every day with whipping full-body tail wags, snuggles and clownish antics that make our house merry again. Kitson Jazynka, Washington Post, "How a dull-coated dog brightened my relationship with my sons," 14 Oct. 2019 For many Russians, however, who were dismayed during Yeltsin’s tenure by their country’s loss of territory, population, status, and power, and by their president’s sometimes-clownish behavior, Vladimir Putin has seemed a savior. Aryeh Neier, The New Republic, "The Imitation Games That Authoritarians Play," 24 Mar. 2020 After the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Indecline hung clownish Ku Klux Klan effigies from a tree in a Richmond park. Scott James, New York Times, "From Homelessness to Donald Trump, This Art Group Takes on All," 10 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clownish.' 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 clownish

1563, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for clownish

Time Traveler

The first known use of clownish was in 1563

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Statistics for clownish

Last Updated

13 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clownish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of clownish

: like a clown : acting in a silly or funny way

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clownish

Nglish: Translation of clownish for Spanish Speakers

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