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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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 In other words, moviegoers flocked to theaters by choice to see a killer clown terrorize a bunch of kids. Patti Greco, Health.com, "Why Do So Many People Like Horror Movies? Six Reasons We Love Being Scared," 13 Oct. 2020 After all, who wants to be seen screaming in terror when Pennywise the clown shows up at some unexpected moment? Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Strawberry fest's haunted house to be scary but safe, official says," 8 Oct. 2020 According to owner Brian Knighten, the space will provide an environment for a variety of entertainment options, from daytime puppet and clown shows for kids, to small evening music shows and after-dark film screenings. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "Broad Theater debuts a new outdoor venue. Its first screening? The vice-presidential debate.," 6 Oct. 2020 Nothing is scarier than a clown, especially one who lurks in the sewer. Naveen Kumar, CNN Underscored, "The cutest, scariest and funniest Halloween costumes for kids," 5 Oct. 2020 Riggs worked in his family's touring show, becoming a circus aerialist and clown, influences that defined his lifelong love of entertainment. Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, "Godfather of Twin Cities comedy scene, Dudley Riggs dies at 88," 22 Sep. 2020 No, but when the shoe fits — when the clown shoe fits. TheWeek, "Undecided 2016 Trump voter tells CNN that Biden's 'clown' dig at Trump was fair and accurate," 30 Sep. 2020 By Lepore’s account, the Simulmatics operation was something of a clown show. James Gleick, The New York Review of Books, "Simulating Democracy," 22 Sep. 2020 The weekend warriors in their Army surplus battle rattle, their paintball weapons and gun show specials are getting lots of love from this clown show’s commander in chief. Washington Post, "Support for Trump appears to be slipping in the military. And no wonder.," 31 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even McCarthy clowned him by imitating the eldest Kardashian’s famously monotone voice. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "The worst guesses on The Masked Singer season 3 so far," 3 Apr. 2020 This particular compound of grandiosity and insecurity is an artisanal microbrew, and McElhenney does good work clowning his eyebrows into attitudes expressive of pure contempt and unsteady comprehension. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Sweet, Silly “Mythic Quest” Is “The Office” for Game Developers," 7 Feb. 2020 There’s one acceptable outcome to their season, and reality-check losses like this one help them get closer to that a lot more than starting 8-0 by clowning clueless teams like Washington, the Jets, and the Browns. BostonGlobe.com, "In the long run, they’ll be better for it.," 5 Nov. 2019 That didn’t stop fans from clowning Bosa after the 49ers loss. cleveland, "49ers’ Nick Bosa roasted after missing out on meeting Trump," 3 Feb. 2020 However, not everyone who lives near the location is thrilled with the Joker fans clowning around. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "The Stairs in Joker Have Become a N.Y.C. Tourist Destination — and Some Locals Aren't Happy," 23 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile on Instagram, people were getting their popcorn ready and literally clowning Trump and others. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Here Are the Juiciest Donald Trump Impeachment Memes We Could Find," 25 Sep. 2019 Bill Skarsgård wasn’t clowning around in his preparations to play Pennywise. Clark Collis, EW.com, "It: Chapter 2 star Bill Skarsgård talks Pennywise: 'Subtle's the wrong word for this character'," 10 Dec. 2019 The costuming, with the players in circusy outfits and the chorus members wearing their own clothes, looks haphazard, and the carnival clowning on stage gets in the way of the plot. BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Lyric Opera takes ‘Pagliacci’ to the circus - The Boston Globe," 29 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for clown

Time Traveler

The first known use of clown was in 1563

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Statistics for clown

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clown. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for clown

clown

noun
How to pronounce clown (audio)

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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