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zany

[ zey-nee ]
/ ˈzeɪ ni /
||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR zany ON THESAURUS.COM

adjective, za·ni·er, za·ni·est.

ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish.

noun, plural za·nies.

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Nearby words

zanthoxylum, zanu, zanu pf, zanuck, zanuck, darryl francis, zany, zanzibar, zanzibari, zap, zap out, zapata

Origin of zany

1560–70; (< Middle French) < Italian zan(n)i (later zanno) a servant character in the commedia dell’arte, perhaps orig. the character's name, the Upper Italian form of Tuscan Gianni, for Giovanni John
SYNONYMS FOR zany
Related formsza·ni·ly, adverbza·ni·ness, za·ny·ism, nounza·ny·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zaniness

  • Gingrich Restrains His Zaniness Newt confesses that he's been editing his words in an effort not to appear to be "zany."

    Fox News Iowa Debate Best Moments (Video)|The Daily Beast Video|December 16, 2011|DAILY BEAST
  • But whatever her professions of zaniness, lately Barrymore has seemed awfully grown up.

    Roller Girl|Nicole LaPorte|October 1, 2009|DAILY BEAST

British Dictionary definitions for zaniness

zany

/ (ˈzeɪnɪ) /

adjective -nier or -niest

comical in an endearing way; imaginatively funny or comical, esp in behaviour

noun plural -nies

a clown or buffoon, esp one in old comedies who imitated other performers with ludicrous effect
a ludicrous or foolish person
Derived Formszanily, adverbzaniness, nounzanyism, noun

Word Origin for zany

C16: from Italian zanni, from dialect (Venice and Lombardy) Zanni, nickname for Giovanni John; one of the traditional names for a clown
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