[ kloun ]
/ klaʊn /


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.

verb (used without object)

to act like a clown.

Nearby words

  1. cloverleaf aerial,
  2. clovis,
  3. clovis i,
  4. clovis point,
  5. clowder,
  6. clown anemone,
  7. clown car,
  8. clown white,
  9. clownage,
  10. clownery

Origin of clown

1555–65; earlier cloyne, clowne, perhaps akin to Old Norse klunni boor, Danish dialect klunds, Swedish dialect klunn log

Related formsclown·ish, adjectiveclown·ish·ly, adverbclown·ish·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clownish

British Dictionary definitions for clownish


/ (klaʊn) /


verb (intr)

Derived Formsclownery, nounclownish, adjectiveclownishly, adverbclownishness, noun

Word Origin for clown

C16: perhaps of Low German origin; compare Frisian klönne, Icelandic klunni clumsy fellow

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

Word Origin and History for clownish
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper