corn·​ball | \ ˈkȯrn-ˌbȯl How to pronounce cornball (audio) \

Definition of cornball

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an unsophisticated person also : something corny



Definition of cornball (Entry 2 of 2)

: corny entry 1 sense 1 cornball humor

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Synonyms & Antonyms for cornball

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of cornball in a Sentence

Noun a movie about a cornball making his way through a world of cynical sophisticates Adjective a cornball musical about farmers a cornball sense of humor
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Only an ex-Bachelor could so comfortably oscillate between cornball self-promotion and heartfelt appeals. Ariana Romero,, 19 Aug. 2021 The film is about the power of storytelling, and not in the cornball, self-congratulatory sense in which that phrase is normally deployed. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 30 June 2021 Less glitz, less glamour, but also less of the gaudy cornball razzmatazz that often leads to impromptu embarrassment and painful jokes. Gene Seymour, CNN, 26 Apr. 2021 Real-world Russell partner Goldie Hawn gets more than a cameo this time as Mrs. C. There’s some nice practical and digital world-building and a cornball musical number midway through, with Russell and Darlene Love, that beat down my resistance. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2020 The cool kids, including President Barack Obama, occasionally mocked him behind his back for his cornball earnestness. Ben Smith, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2020 With a zest for showmanship, Mr. Trump had always seemed in his element on these cornball occasions, no matter what other turmoil happened to be upending his presidency at the moment. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, 24 Nov. 2020 The instructions are descriptive and exact, heavy on butter and cornball jokes. Jonathan Kauffman, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2020 Hollywood is bloody and messy, but its aims are sweet, bordering on cornball. Jesse Hassenger, The Verge, 1 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But while audiences may delight in the cornball chaos of, say, Sharknado, portraying recent real-world disasters through schlock is a trickier proposition. Kate Knibbs, Wired, 25 Dec. 2020 Characters like Anna May Wong get reduced to single notes of inspiration, their personal lives never really dramatized by a show with too much time for Jack's cornball infidelity. Darren Franich,, 29 Apr. 2020 Hollywood establishment figures don’t get sufficient credit for their humanitarian screen efforts that are easily scoffed at as cornball. Armond White, National Review, 23 Oct. 2019 But the show has also kneecapped itself with scene after scene of insufferable cornball humor. Daniel Payne, National Review, 20 July 2019 So why are so many vacation homes still tainted by these tired, cornball clichés? Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, 17 May 2019 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, 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, 25 Apr. 2018 Every bit of the real me was in dancing and recitals in cornball town, Wethersfield, Connecticut. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, 5 Apr. 2018

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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Time Traveler for cornball

Time Traveler

The first known use of cornball was circa 1949

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Dictionary Entries Near cornball

corn aphid


corn beef

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Statistics for cornball

Last Updated

7 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cornball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of cornball

: old-fashioned and silly or sentimental : corny


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