corn·​ball | \ˈkȯrn-ˌbȯl \

Definition of cornball 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an unsophisticated person also : something corny



Definition of cornball (Entry 2 of 2)

: corny entry 1 sense 3 cornball humor

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Synonyms & Antonyms for cornball

Synonyms: Noun

bumpkin, chawbacon, churl, clodhopper, countryman, hayseed, hick, hillbilly, provincial, rube, rustic, yokel

Synonyms: Adjective

corn-fed, cornpone, corny, hokey

Antonyms: Noun

cosmopolitan, cosmopolite, sophisticate

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Examples of cornball in a Sentence


a movie about a cornball making his way through a world of cynical sophisticates


a cornball musical about farmers a cornball sense of humor
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That sounds like a bushel of cornball and might have devolved into pure ick if the director, Dave McCary, didn't lead from the heart and wasn't adept at navigating seemingly clashing tones. The New York Times,, "'Brigsby Bear' movie review: A weird but wonderful bit of offbeat joy," 18 Aug. 2017 That sounds like a bushel of cornball and might have devolved into pure ick if the director, Dave McCary, didn’t lead from the heart. Manohla Dargis, The Seattle Times, "‘Brigsby Bear’ review: Lonely superfan meets world in sweet, funny tale," 16 Aug. 2017 That sounds like a bushel of cornball and might have devolved into pure ick if the director, Dave McCary, didn’t lead from the heart and wasn’t adept at navigating seemingly clashing tones. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: Cosplay and Comedy in ‘Brigsby Bear’," 27 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Here’s how to rock the red, white, and blue this Fourth of July without any of the cornball risks or dorky potential for disaster. Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "17 Fourth of July Menswear Buys That’ll Outshine the Fireworks," 3 July 2018 That’s a particular thing, that sort of cornball comedy, relocating the ornery hillbilly or farmer to another environment that is baffling to the city people. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Publishing the Best of the Desert: An Interview With Ken Layne," 25 Apr. 2018 Every bit of the real me was in dancing and recitals in cornball town, Wethersfield, Connecticut. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "Betsey Johnson Reveals Her Beauty Philosophy and the Inspiring Reason She Wants to Start Her Own Makeup Line," 5 Apr. 2018 The final episode wasn't mushy, true to Brownstein's comment at the Television Critics Association 2018 winter press tour that ending a sketch comedy show doesn't call for cornball plot developments. Kristi Turnquist,, "'Portlandia' series finale: Sweet, strange and channeling Portland nostalgia," 22 Mar. 2018 People who know Pai describe him as an ebullient presence, given to occasional cornball humor. Hamza Shaban,, "FCC's Ajit Pai dressed up as Santa and wielded a lightsaber to mock net neutrality rules," 15 Dec. 2017 Hadn’t everyone seen that cornball Jimmy Stewart vehicle, rerun on television annually during the holiday season, a few dozen times? Julia M. Klein,, "Stage play of 'Wonderful Life' at the Walnut: The darn thing works!," 3 Nov. 2017 Once standoffish with press, Steely Dan became reliably gracious interview subjects, a move that when paired with their cornball stage patter, helped warm a once notoriously chilly band. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Billboard, "Home at Last: R.I.P. Walter Becker, Who Helped Steely Dan Eclipse Cliché and Thrive on Contradiction," 3 Sep. 2017 The woke mustache's popularity peaked during such a troubled time that even the most cornball celebrities couldn't help but get politicized. Miles Raymer, Esquire, "In Praise of the Woke Mustache," 22 Dec. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cornball.' 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 cornball


circa 1949, in the meaning defined above


1951, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for cornball

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Time Traveler for cornball

The first known use of cornball was circa 1949

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More Definitions for cornball



English Language Learners Definition of cornball

: old-fashioned and silly or sentimental

More from Merriam-Webster on cornball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cornball

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cornball

Comments on cornball

What made you want to look up cornball? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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