slapstick was our Word of the Day on 10/27/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of slapstick in a Sentence
an actor whose roles range from slapstick to serious drama
a lowbrow comedy that relies heavily on slapstick for its laughs
Recent Examples of slapstick from the Web
Canadian Security Footage Shows How Not to Pull Off a Heist The couple's escape attempt plays like a slapstick silent film.
All the old-timey stage shtick are in place: running gags, freeze motion, slapstick, men dressed as women, women dressed as men, lots of shouting, and a nifty chase scene.
The filmmaking always seems to be in service of whatever piece of slapstick or one-liner is on the screen at the moment.
But the real comedy comes from the video's remarkable original edit, which alternated perfectly between the male and female suspects' scenes, conveying unintended slapstick with nary a sound.
Director Jeff Tomsic, working from a script by Mark Steilen and Rob McKittrick, swings from violent slapstick to tender moments in slapdash fashion.
And there’s some very funny slapstick, hilarious new characters, and a handful of sequences that match any great Pixar film.
The scene is slapstick, gross-out brilliance — and a clever illustration of how applying hypotheticals to real life (or a convincing illusion) becomes, er, messy.
The slapstick is lame, the jokes are lazy, and the attempts at drama are hollow.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slapstick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The idea that knocking people about made for good comedy dates as far back as the Greco-Roman theater, where clowns rambunctiously "attacked" one another onstage. The object from which the word slapstick derives, however, was invented in Italy in the 16th century. Renaissance comedy typically featured stock characters placed in ridiculous situations, and one such ubiquitous character was Harlequin, whose brilliant costuming made him easily recognizable. Harlequin was given to wielding a paddle which was designed to make a terrible noise when he hit someone, usually to the delight of the audience. This paddle was eventually known in English as a "slapstick," and it became a symbol of that type of highly physical comedy. The word slapstick then came to refer to the comedy itself.
SLAPSTICK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of slapstick for English Language Learners
: comedy that involves physical action (such as falling down or hitting people)
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