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 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 Cloaking history and politics in a string of clownish character sketches, the result is educational and entertaining for all. Ben Crandell,, "Thanksgiving Weekend preview: Champagne, Beer and Fried Oreos Edition," 26 Nov. 2019 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,, "How a dull-coated dog brightened my relationship with my sons," 18 Oct. 2019 Lesser powers can indulge in histrionic grandstanding, clownish antics, outrageous claims and public tantrums. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Donald Trump’s Iran Show," 24 June 2019 The gray facemask, the clownish sleeve striping, the pointless jersey side panels, the embarrassing pants striping—what a mess. Paul Lukas,, "Uni Watch's Best and Worst Looks From Week 4 in the NFL," 29 Sep. 2019 And a lot of us wouldn’t be seen dead on a scooter, the clownish version of a Segway. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Sharing Services Need to Have More Imagination," 7 June 2019 But naturally, some people find Roma and the Sisters off-putting because of their clownish makeup or the perception that their work mocks religion. Daniel Villarreal, Vox, "Drag queens are more political than ever. Can they lead a movement?," 5 Nov. 2018 This wasn’t the Djokovic who’d been such an joyous treat in his prime—a superstar capable of being chatty and funny and clownish, even on the court. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Novak’s Back—and Here Comes Tall John Isner," 12 July 2018

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

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clownish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for clownish


How to pronounce clownish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of clownish

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on clownish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clownish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clownish

Spanish Central: Translation of clownish

Nglish: Translation of clownish for Spanish Speakers

Comments on clownish

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