When you act goofy with your friends, that's clowning. Putting on stage makeup, a purple wig, and a red nose before performing in a circus is another kind of clowning.

Use the term clowning for the art and practice of being a clown, a performer who excels at gags and pratfalls. Professional clowning involves learning things like pantomime, juggling, and even acrobatics. Circus clowning provides the comic relief between high wire acts and other feats of daring. A more casual kind of clowning is when you simply act silly: "Stop clowning and pay attention to the teacher!"

Definitions of clowning

n acting like a clown or buffoon

buffoonery, frivolity, harlequinade, japery, prank
schtick, schtik, shtick, shtik
(Yiddish) a prank or piece of clowning
Type of:
craziness, folly, foolery, indulgence, lunacy, tomfoolery
foolish or senseless behavior

n a comic incident or series of incidents

comedy, drollery, funniness
Type of:
fun, play, sport
verbal wit or mockery (often at another's expense but not to be taken seriously)

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