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corn·​ball ˈkȯrn-ˌbȯl How to pronounce cornball (audio)
: an unsophisticated person
also : something corny


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: corny entry 1 sense 1
cornball humor

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
High-octane action, including a wickedly complex scene shot around the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, makes up for the slightly cornball script. K. Thor Jensen, PCMAG, 8 June 2022 The new sober influencers have convinced me that this cornball 12-step stuff isn’t for everyone. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 19 Apr. 2022 Of the teenage superheroes, Jaime would be in the Eagle Fang boat — a little chaotic, spontaneous, sly, a little cornball. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 11 Jan. 2022 My dad liked 1920s jazz, Paul Whiteman, the real cornball stuff, and really cheesy Hawaiian music from the 1940s. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 26 Oct. 2021 The desire to get back to normal results in a boring, cornball, paint-by-numbers Emmy production. Kathryn Vanarendonk And Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 21 Sep. 2021 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
Seemingly the only non-conservative included in the bit was Shri Thanedar, a Democrat and state representative from Michigan, who appeared in a cornball commercial featuring people demonstrating mind-bendingly bad acting. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2022 Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago,’ or ‘The Return of Kwango’ — play like an affectionate sendup of cornball heroics. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 16 Feb. 2022 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 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1949, in the meaning defined above


1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cornball was circa 1949

Dictionary Entries Near cornball

Cite this Entry

“Cornball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

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