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

Definition of clownish

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

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 But some of his clothes have occasionally been too clownish, not living up to the spirit of aggressive delight the designer himself imparts. Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 8 June 2022 Perhaps McKay’s taste for clownish characterization explains it. New York Times, 25 May 2022 By the end of the video, Cat and her friends dramatically lose the clown ‘fits and enjoy their fast-food meal outside the restaurant and in their clownish car. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 10 Feb. 2022 These shows challenge not only the predominance of coming-of-age narratives about white male adolescents but also the longstanding typecasting of Black boys onscreen as impoverished, clownish, hyper-violent or otherwise threatening. New York Times, 21 Dec. 2021 The cast of challengers included clownish pretenders and tired retreads. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2021 With clownish red lips, ears pointing straight out, eyes fixed in a dazed stare and hands outstretched, the figurines were grotesque caricatures of Black men. Makeda Easter Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2021 Extending every measure of good faith to Fox’s clownish right-wing personalities, Greenwald is just as ruthless and unforgiving with his enemies, who now seem to be everywhere. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 2 July 2021 Johnson’s perfecting of a campy clownish style of self-conscious exaggeration was crucial to the whole Brexit show. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of clownish

1563, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of clownish was in 1563

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Clownish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on clownish

Nglish: Translation of clownish for Spanish Speakers


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