slapstick

[ slap-stik ]
/ ˈslæpˌstɪk /

noun

broad comedy characterized by boisterous action, as the throwing of pies in actors' faces, mugging, and obvious farcical situations and jokes.
a stick or lath used by harlequins, clowns, etc., as in pantomime, for striking other performers, especially a combination of laths that make a loud, clapping noise without hurting the person struck.

adjective

using, or marked by the use of, broad farce and horseplay: a slapstick motion picture.

Origin of slapstick

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900; slap1 + stick1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slapstick

British Dictionary definitions for slapstick

slapstick

/ (ˈslæpˌstɪk) /

noun

  1. comedy characterized by horseplay and physical action
  2. (as modifier)slapstick humour
a flexible pair of paddles bound together at one end, formerly used in pantomime to strike a blow to a person with a loud clapping sound but without injury
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 slapstick

slapstick


n.

also slap-stick, originally (1896) a device consisting of two sticks fastened together so as to slap loudly when a clown or actor hits somebody with it, or to make a sound-effect offstage; from slap and stick (n.). As an adjective by 1906. Meaning "farcical physical comedy, horseplay" (1916) is short for slapstick comedy or humor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper