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

James Corden transformed into the shape-shifting, child-eating alien clown from the world of Stephen King — for the second time. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Pennywise looks for love in James Corden's The Bachelorette crossover," 10 Sep. 2019 School is in session and the class clown has commandeered the lectern. Los Angeles Times, "Review: For John Leguizamo, class is back in session. ‘Latin History for Morons’ hits L.A.," 9 Sep. 2019 The Shriners’ clowns and dune buggies will also be at the giveaway event. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "5,000 Prince Hall Shriners descend on Baltimore this week, bearing message of diabetes prevention," 17 Aug. 2019 Banding together, the friends must overcome their personal fears to battle the murderous clown Pennywise. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 And Tadpole the clown poured the champagne for the first toast. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Couple says ‘I moo’ at joyful, rustic wedding in the midst of the OC Fair," 10 Aug. 2019 More than McQueen, Reynolds was in tune with a true American character — the dumb jock who isn’t so dumb, the back-of-the-class clown who barely tries but succeeds anyway, the guy who just keeps winning. James Freeman, WSJ, "Burt Reynolds and Washington’s ‘Senior’ Suspects," 7 Sep. 2018 Aside from the terrifying wall of clowns, here are other products that would fit right in. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The best decor to shop from your favorite TV shows," 13 Aug. 2019 And don’t forget the powerful appeal of an evil clown: People love (and love to hate) Bill Skarsgard’s freaky Pennywise. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Comic-Con: Our 5 biggest unanswered questions, from 'Top Gun: Maverick' to Marvel," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The informal posture of the two, acting like clowning chums despite differences over Britain’s expected fall departure from the EU, may be the new normal in the often-tense world of diplomacy. Washington Post, "Foot on table: British PM at home in French president palace," 24 Aug. 2019 A few yards away, fellow Wisconsin defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk was clowning with teammates. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW defensive ends Garrett Rand and Isaiahh Loudermilk fit for camp and champing at the bit," 31 July 2019 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

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

14 Sep 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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