A clown is someone who makes people laugh, like the guy with the red nose and oversize polka dotted tie. It can also be an insult — a rude buffoon can be called a clown. To clown means to act goofy.

The clowns found at circuses and birthday parties usually wear makeup and big shoes, but funny people in regular clothes are often called clowns, too, as in the class clown who tells jokes in school. Also, someone obnoxious can be called a clown, as in “that clown wrecked my car!” Acting like a clown in any way is clowning. A teacher trying to get the attention of kids who are fooling around might say, "Stop clowning around!”

Definitions of clown

n a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior

buffoon, goof, goofball, merry andrew
Emmett Kelly
United States circus clown (1898-1979)
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a clown or buffoon (after the Harlequin character in the commedia dell'arte)
fool, jester, motley fool
a professional clown employed to entertain a king or nobleman in the Middle Ages
a clown whose face is covered with white make-up
a buffoon in one of the old comedies; imitates others for ludicrous effect
Type of:
comedian, comic
a professional performer who tells jokes and performs comical acts

n a rude or vulgar fool

a buffoon in modern pantomimes; the butt of jokes
Type of:
fool, muggins, sap, saphead, tomfool
a person who lacks good judgment

v act as or like a clown

antic, clown around
Type of:
jest, joke
act in a funny or teasing way

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