a comic performer, as in a circus, theatrical production, or the like, who wears an outlandish costume and makeup and entertains by pantomiming common situations or actions in exaggerated or ridiculous fashion, by juggling or tumbling, etc.
a person who acts like a clown; comedian; joker; buffoon; jester.
a prankster; a practical joker.
Slang. a coarse, ill-bred person; a boor.
a peasant; rustic.
to act like a clown.
- clownish, adjective
- clown·ish·ly, adverb
- clown·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use clown in a sentence
I wasn’t a class clown, because I was like, “This is going to get me in trouble.”
My mom was obsessed with clowns and decorated our apartment full of them when I was growing up.
The clown had been silent for years, Benson swears, but when Christopher arrived in June, the clown perked up and found its wheezy laugh again.Someone out there wants to adopt your creepy toys. There’s a matchmaker for that. | Maureen O'Hagan | October 29, 2020 | Washington Post
Between all the clowning, the show cycled through dozens and dozens of singers.'American Idol' Premiere Review: The Clown Show Is Back and We Love It | Kevin Fallon | January 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He told Mohammed that he was just there clowning and that Mo had a real shot and could have his spot.The Next Arab Idol: Palestine's Boy Wonder and Stereotype Buster | Maysoon Zayid | May 22, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The crowded theatre was wholly relieved, itself again, in a succeeding passage of trivial clowning.Cytherea | Joseph Hergesheimer
The bears themselves perform their parts most decorously, without any horseplay or clowning.Practical Cinematography and Its Applications | Frederick Arthur Ambrose Talbot
This was a bit of his clowning humor, a purely manufactured and as it were mechanical joke or ebullience of soul.Twelve Men | Theodore Dreiser
The tall, peaked hat was a great aid to the clown in my early days of clowning.The Autobiography of a Clown | Isaac Frederick Marcosson
To be a successful clown you had also to be a good pantomimist, because all clowning is really based on the pantomime.The Autobiography of a Clown | Isaac Frederick Marcosson
British Dictionary definitions for clown
a comic entertainer, usually grotesquely costumed and made up, appearing in the circus
any performer who elicits an amused response
someone who plays jokes or tricks
a person who acts in a comic or buffoon-like manner
a coarse clumsy rude person; boor
archaic a countryman or rustic
to perform as a clown
to play jokes or tricks
to act foolishly
- clownery, noun
- clownish, adjective
- clownishly, adverb
- clownishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012