[ zey-nee ]
/ ˈzeɪ ni /

adjective, za·ni·er, za·ni·est.

ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish.

noun, plural za·nies.

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


za·ni·ly, adverbza·ni·ness, za·ny·ism, nounza·ny·ish, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for zaniness

British Dictionary definitions for zaniness

/ (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 forms of zany

zanily, 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