View synonyms for knockabout


[ nok-uh-bout ]


  1. Nautical. any of various fore-and-aft-rigged sailing vessels having a single jib bent to a stay from the stemhead, no bowsprit being used: usually rigged as a sloop.
  2. something designed or suitable for rough or casual use, as a sturdy jacket, a secondhand car, etc.
  3. a slapstick comedian or comedy.
  4. Australian. an itinerant farm hand or ranch hand; an itinerant handyman.
  5. British Archaic. wanderer.


  1. suitable for rough use, as a garment:

    a knockabout jacket and jeans.

  2. characterized by knocking about; rough; boisterous.
  3. slapstick:

    knockabout comedy.

  4. shiftless; aimless:

    a knockabout kind of person.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of knockabout1

First recorded in 1875–80; noun, adj. use of verb phrase knock about

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Example Sentences

Doug transports this knockabout grace into “The Mark of Zorro.”

She kept the jeans on for her knockabout, but changed her heels for sneakers and slipped into a grey team GB fleece.

I suppose a knockabout like myself gets all the taste for the fine arts knocked out of him.

If all was as I hardly dared to hope, I would give up my present knockabout life, and take a good farm somewhere and settle down.

Having settled myself, or my property rather, I put on my knockabout clothes and went out for a walk.

At first the set was content with giving a sort of low comedian, knockabout performance.

During that first engagement with the Burr Robbins show I was what was called a “talking and knockabout clown.”


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knockknock back