clown

[kloun] /klaʊn/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a person who acts like a clown; comedian; joker; buffoon; jester.
3.
a prankster; a practical joker.
4.
Slang. a coarse, ill-bred person; a boor.
5.
a peasant; rustic.
verb (used without object)
6.
to act like a clown.
Origin
1555–65; earlier cloyne, clowne, perhaps akin to Old Norse klunni boor, Danish dialect klunds, Swedish dialect klunn log
Related forms
clownish, adjective
clownishly, adverb
clownishness, noun
Synonyms
3. lout, churl. 4. bumpkin.
British Dictionary definitions for more clownish
clown (klaʊn)
 
n
1.  a comic entertainer, usually grotesquely costumed and made up, appearing in the circus
2.  any performer who elicits an amused response
3.  someone who plays jokes or tricks
4.  a person who acts in a comic or buffoon-like manner
5.  a coarse clumsy rude person; boor
6.  archaic a countryman or rustic
 
vb
7.  to perform as a clown
8.  to play jokes or tricks
9.  to act foolishly
 
[C16: perhaps of Low German origin; compare Frisian klönne, Icelandic klunni clumsy fellow]
 
'clownery
 
n
 
'clownish
 
adj
 
'clownishly
 
adv
 
'clownishness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for more clownish
clown
1560s, origin uncertain. Perhaps from Scand. dial., or akin to N.Fris. klonne "clumsy person," or, less likely, from L. colonus "colonist, farmer," hence, "rustic, boor," which apparently was the earliest Eng. sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang related to more clownish

clown

noun

A person for whom the speaker feels mild contempt, esp one whose behavior merits derision : Get this clown off my back and let me help you (1920s+)

verb

(also clown around) To behave frivolously; persist in inappropriate levity (1940s+)


Dictionary of American Slang
Copyright © 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Difficulty index for more clownish

Few English speakers likely know this word

Tile value for more

6
7
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