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dead·​pan ˈded-ˌpan How to pronounce deadpan (audio)
: marked by an impassive matter-of-fact manner, style, or expression
a deadpan comedy


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: in a deadpan manner : without emotion : blankly
Larry David started out in the 1970s doing stand-up in comedy clubs such as Catch a Rising Star, where if he came out on stage and did not like the audience he would stare at them deadpan … and walk off.Lee Siegel
"A sex and violence weekend?" "That's two weekend ideas, actually," Derbin replies deadpan.Judith Miller


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: a deadpan manner of behavior or presentation
: a completely expressionless face


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deadpanned; deadpanning; deadpans

transitive verb

: to express in a deadpan manner
deadpanner noun

Examples of deadpan in a Sentence

Adjective he delivered the joke in such a deadpan voice that we thought at first that he was serious Noun He tells the joke in his best deadpan. She's a master of deadpan. Verb “I went back to doing push-ups again, and this time I almost completed one,” he deadpanned.
Recent Examples on the Web
Working with high ranking creatives and executives including Douglas Fairbanks, Joseph M. Schenck and Edward F. Cline, he became known for performing exaggerated stunts and physical comedy with a deadpan facial expression. Selome Hailu, Variety, 19 Jan. 2023 Wet Leg, with its deadpan wit and post-punk guitar sound, loosely resembles the B-52s, if Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson had led the band. John Seabrook, The New Yorker, 16 Jan. 2023 This Place Rules, 25-year-old Andrew Callaghan has amassed millions of fans as a goofy, deadpan interlocutor, highlighting the absurdities of modern culture. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 10 Jan. 2023 With the space closing, his final show there was a mix of deadpan and melancholy notes. Photographs By Nina Westervelt, New York Times, 31 Dec. 2022 See all Example Sentences for deadpan 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deadpan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1928, in the meaning defined above


1933, in the meaning defined above


circa 1930, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deadpan was circa 1928

Dictionary Entries Near deadpan

Cite this Entry

“Deadpan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a face that shows no emotion
deadpan adjective or adverb

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