- ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish.
- one who plays the clown or fool in order to amuse others.
- a comically wild or eccentric person.
- a secondary stock character in old comedies who mimicked his master.
- a professional buffoon; clown.
- a silly person; simpleton.
- a slavish attendant or follower.
Origin of zany
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for zaniness
Gingrich Restrains His Zaniness Newt confesses that he's been editing his words in an effort not to appear to be "zany."Fox News Iowa Debate Best Moments (Video)
The Daily Beast Video
December 16, 2011
But whatever her professions of zaniness, lately Barrymore has seemed awfully grown up.Roller Girl
October 1, 2009
- comical in an endearing way; imaginatively funny or comical, esp in behaviour
- a clown or buffoon, esp one in old comedies who imitated other performers with ludicrous effect
- a ludicrous or foolish person
Word Origin and History for zaniness
1869, from zany (n.). Related: Zanily; zaniness.
comic performer, 1580s, from French zani, from Italian zani, zanni "a zany, clown," originally Zanni, Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, pet form of Giovanni "John." A stock character in old comedies, he aped the principal actors.