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

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 The Rays’ strategy wasn’t quite clownish or burlesque, and there might actually be something to it. Emma Baccellieri,, "The Rays and Marlins Played An Incredibly Strange Game on Tuesday Night," 4 July 2018 The Sox will show promise one day and look clownish the next. Paul Sullivan,, "How much longer will the White Sox rebuild take?," 28 June 2018 Steve Feinberg Like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Feinberg took the Trump plunge during the campaign, when The Donald was still considered a clownish long shot. Harry Jaffe, Town & Country, "Who Are Donald Trump's Closest Friends?," 18 Apr. 2017 Annie’s death, her murder, has never been seriously investigated by the Baltimore Police Department — not in the initial homicide investigation, and not in the clownish cold-case investigation in 2013. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "Parents of Annie McCann, found dead in Baltimore of ‘Bactine poisoning,’ press Gov. Hogan to intervene," 6 Mar. 2018 The regular Republican Party of tax cuts for the rich and deregulation of polluters and the financial industry once seemed to be set apart from its clownish demagogue presidential candidate. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "How the Trump Tax Cuts Solved the Democrats’ Campaign Problem," 20 Dec. 2017 And a case in point of his something-for-everyone talents is exemplified in patterned shirt that takes a design that could be clownish in less capable hands (in this case polka dots) and blows it out (and up). GQ, "18 Ways to Upgrade Your Closet Right Now," 26 Oct. 2017

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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Dictionary Entries near clownish


clown fish






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Time Traveler for clownish

The first known use of clownish was in 1563

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clownish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clownish

Spanish Central: Translation of clownish

Nglish: Translation of clownish for Spanish Speakers

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