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slapstick

[slap-stik] /ˈslæpˌstɪk/
noun
1.
broad comedy characterized by boisterous action, as the throwing of pies in actors' faces, mugging, and obvious farcical situations and jokes.
2.
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
3.
using, or marked by the use of, broad farce and horseplay:
a slapstick motion picture.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900, Americanism; slap1 + stick1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for slapstick
  • There are funny moments but almost none of the picture, except for outworn slapstick devices, is comedy at all.
  • His style was at once simple and antic, serious and slapstick, metaphoric and mischievous.
  • Rather than being a silly one-off, the slapstick scene embodies the tone of the prehistoric miniseries.
  • Many games that do feature violence serve up a slapstick version.
  • He has a sense of humour, albeit a rather slapstick one.
  • The practice of rush-shipping organs for transplants on ice is fertile ground for slapstick comedy.
  • Diverse kinds of verbal clowning and slapstick take place.
  • The film features some hilarious slapstick moments along with consistently witty and intelligent dialogue.
  • The injuriousness of this fictional world might be explained, of course, by slapstick convention.
  • It comes when the champagne of his dialogue is flattened by the pneumonia of his slapstick.
British Dictionary definitions for slapstick

slapstick

/ˈslæpˌstɪk/
noun
1.
  1. comedy characterized by horseplay and physical action
  2. (as modifier): slapstick humour
2.
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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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Slang definitions & phrases for slapstick

slapstick

adjective

Featuring rowdy humor, both physical and conceptual; low comedy: The old burlesque loved slapstick routines (1906+ Show business)

noun

: The Marx Brothers depended a lot on slapstick (1926+ Show business)

[fr the slapstick, two wooden slats joined at one end, which made a loud splatting noise when used as a comic weapon, the term found by 1907]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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