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a. A buffoon or jester who entertains by jokes, antics, and tricks in a circus, play, or other presentation.
b. One who jokes and plays tricks.
2. A coarse, rude, vulgar person; a boor.
3. A peasant; a rustic.
intr.v. clowned, clown·ing, clowns
1. To behave like a buffoon or jester.
2. To perform as a buffoon or jester.
3. To krump, especially in clown makeup.

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

clown′er n.
clown′ish adj.
clown′ish·ly adv.
clown′ish·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Special praise is reserved for Bonham Carter, who delivers a charming dollop of her trademark clownishness, and Awkwafina, a rapper, comedian and actress who injects a refreshing dash of street culture to a cast and story line that leans heavily on haute couture.
While Pannu, Kulhari and Tariang turn in fine performances (controlled and wonderfully understated), I found the lawyer for Rajveer, Prashant Mehra's (Piyush Mishra) arguments bordering on clownishness. Was this necessary in a serious work like Pink?
His extravagance, clownishness and even his girls were part of his popular appeal.
The kind of innocent clownishness one expects within the constraints of an arts festival was, in Anastasia W's case, turned on its head.
This fact was hidden behind a faE*ade of clownishness. He liked to present himself as a philosopher (the "Green Book"), a visionary statesman (Israelis and Palestinians must unite in the "State of Isratine"), even as an immature teenager (his innumerable uniforms and costumes).
Frank's determination to show his devotion to Bo doesn't lessen his clownishness yet still reinforces his humanity, while Casper's sexcapades are partly mitigated by the manhandling he endures back home from Hjejle.