Synonyms & Antonyms of clownish

having or showing crudely insensitive or impolite manners
  • the clownish antics of some of the teenagers at the wedding reception

Synonyms for clownish

Words Related to clownish

Near Antonyms for clownish

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About clownish

How does the adjective clownish differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of clownish are boorish, churlish, and loutish. While all these words mean "uncouth in manners or appearance," clownish suggests ill-bred awkwardness, ignorance or stupidity, ungainliness, and often a propensity for absurd antics.

an adolescent's clownish conduct

When could boorish be used to replace clownish?

The meanings of boorish and clownish largely overlap; however, boorish implies rudeness of manner due to insensitiveness to others' feelings and unwillingness to be agreeable.

a drunk's boorish behavior

Where would churlish be a reasonable alternative to clownish?

The synonyms churlish and clownish are sometimes interchangeable, but churlish suggests surliness, unresponsiveness, and ungraciousness.

churlish remarks

In what contexts can loutish take the place of clownish?

Although the words loutish and clownish have much in common, loutish implies bodily awkwardness together with stupidity.

a loutish oaf

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About clownish

Time Traveler for clownish

Time Traveler

The first known use of clownish was in 1563

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near clownish

clowning (around)



See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Clownish.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on clownish

Nglish: Translation of clownish for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!