from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A buffoon or jester who entertains by jokes, antics, and tricks in a circus, play, or other presentation.
  • noun One who jokes and plays tricks.
  • noun A coarse, rude, vulgar person; a boor.
  • noun A peasant; a rustic.
  • intransitive verb To behave like a buffoon or jester.
  • intransitive verb To perform as a buffoon or jester.
  • intransitive verb To krump, especially in clown makeup.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To act or behave as a clown; play the clown.
  • noun A man of rustic or coarse manners; a person without refinement; a lout; a boor; a churl.
  • noun A husbandman; a peasant; a rustic.
  • noun A professional or habitual jester; a merryman or buffoon, as in a pantomime, circus, or other place of entertainment, and formerly in the households of the great.
  • noun Synonyms See jester and zany.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To act as a clown; -- with it.
  • noun A man of coarse nature and manners; an awkward fellow; an ill-bred person; a boor.
  • noun One who works upon the soil; a rustic; a churl.
  • noun The fool or buffoon in a play, circus, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A performance artist often associated with a circus and typically characterised by bright, oversized clothing, a red nose, face paint, and a brightly colored wig and who performs slapstick.
  • noun A person who acts in a silly fashion.
  • verb To act in a silly fashion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb act as or like a clown
  • noun a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior
  • noun a rude or vulgar fool


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Of Scandinavian origin (akin to Icelandic klunni, clumsy person) or of Low German origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Likely from North Germanic, akin to Icelandic klunni ("klutz") and Frisian klönne ("klutz").


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  • Clowns are disturbing.

    December 14, 2006

  • “There is nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.�?

    –– Lon Chaney, Sr.

    October 2, 2007