clown car

[ kloun kahr ]
/ ˈklaʊn ˌkɑr /


a very small car used in a comedic circus routine, in which the normal passenger capacity is greatly exceeded by the numerous clowns who climb out from inside.
Informal. a group whose size seems absurdly excessive for the purported function of the group, and whose effectiveness is therefore questionable: The planning committee has added yet another member to its clown car, almost guaranteeing further delays.
Informal. a small car: He used to call my old Beetle a clown car, but when gas prices soared, I got the last laugh.

Origin of clown car

First recorded in 1950–55; from a comedy routine used in the Cole Bros. Circus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020