• WordNet 3.6
    • v clown act as or like a clown
    • n clown a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior
    • n clown a rude or vulgar fool
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Swinging Clown The Swinging Clown

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The clown fish has the ability to change its sex. If a breeding female dies, the male fish will change its sex and mate with another male
    • Clown A man of coarse nature and manners; an awkward fellow; an ill-bred person; a boor.
    • Clown One who works upon the soil; a rustic; a churl. "The clown , the child of nature, without guile."
    • Clown The fool or buffoon in a play, circus, etc. "The clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickle o'the sere."
    • v. i Clown To act as a clown; -- with it. "Beshrew me, he clowns it properly indeed."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Fear of clowns is called coulrophobia
    • n clown A man of rustic or coarse manners; a person without refinement; a lout; a boor; a churl.
    • n clown A husbandman; a peasant; a rustic.
    • n clown 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.
    • n clown Synonyms See jester and zany.
    • clown To act or behave as a clown; play the clown.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Johnny Depp is afraid of clowns.
    • n Clown klown a rustic or country-fellow: one with the rough manners of a countryman: an ill-bred fellow: a fool or buffoon
    • ***


  • Thomas Fuller
    “Never contend with one that is foolish, proud, positive, testy, or with a superior, or a clown, in matter of argument.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Clowns wear a face that's painted intentionally on them so they appear to be happy or sad. What kind of mask are you wearing today?”
  • Lord Alfred Tennyson
    “By blood a king, in heart a clown.”
  • Charlie Chaplin
    “I remain just one thing, and one thing only -- and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.”
  • John Steinbeck
    “Writers are a little below the clowns and a little above the trained seals.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Icel. klunni, a clumsy, boorish fellow, North Fries. klönne, clown, dial. Sw. klunn, log, Dan. klunt, log, block, and E. clump, n
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. conn. with Clod, and Clot.


In literature:

Occasionally it is united to a sort of breastplate which protects the neck, descending about halfway clown the chest.
"The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria" by George Rawlinson
Two outside characters played the clown.
"In Indian Mexico (1908)" by Frederick Starr
Even the sport of the clowns throws the whole into stronger relief.
"An Essay Toward a History of Shakespeare in Norway" by Martin Brown Ruud
The conventional clown plays a much smaller part in this play than in the others which Kalidasa wrote.
"Translations of Shakuntala and Other Works" by Kåalidåasa
So I became a clown, and must be a clown until I die.
"Stories to Tell Children" by Sara Cone Bryant
I want to be a clown!
"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue Playing Circus" by Laura Lee Hope
It was Whiteface, the clown, sitting on his heels right there in front of him!
"The Circus Comes to Town" by Lebbeus Mitchell
And on the counter were the Calico Clown and the Monkey on a Stick, besides a Jumping Jack.
"The Story of a Candy Rabbit" by Laura Lee Hope
I was trying to guess a riddle the Calico Clown asked.
"The Story of a Monkey on a Stick" by Laura Lee Hope
No clowns accompany them.
"The Delight Makers" by Adolf Bandelier

In poetry:

King of a Realm of Magic,
He was the fool of the town,
Hiding the ache of the tragic
Under the grin of the clown.
"The Poet's Town" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
Our John will quack it like a duck,
And straddle like a clown;
Till 'twix vile roguery and luck
We steal for him the crown.
"Hiland-Buckingham" by Samuel Alfred Beadle
So deaf to all sound Reason's rule
This poor uneducated clown is,
You canNOT fancy what a fool
Poor rich uneducated BROWN is.
"The Folly of Brown -" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Z is the Zebra, of course!--
A kind of a clown-of-a-horse,--
Each other despising,
Yet neither devising
A way to obtain a divorce!
"Billy's Alphabetical Animal Show" by James Whitcomb Riley
"Some men call me dreamer, poet:
Some men call me fool and clown -
What I am but you shall know it,
Only you, sweet Low-lie-down."
"Ballad Of Low-Lie-Down" by Madison Julius Cawein
With P for Pony he will show
That he his family name doth know;
And he will find the C for clown
And at his feet will put it down.
"Cleverness" by Mary Tourtel

In news:

Ringling Bros Clown Casting Call for NATIONWIDE 2013 Tour.
Lawyers and clowns share the stage in the first play of the Northern Illinois University's (NIU) School of Theatre and Dance (SoTD) 2012-2013 production season.
Naked clown tries to sex up a trucker at a rest stop.
They warned you it was coming, and now Slipknot's Corey Taylor and Shawn "Clown" Crahan have unleashed their moviemaking debut on the world.
State Senate clown Stacey Campfield is offering his post-election analysis on his blog.
An anti-NATO activist dressed as a clown kisses the shield of a riot police officer during protests in Strasbourg.
DANVERS — Police say a nude man who works as a clown and children's entertainer was arrested yesterday morning after jumping into a tractor-trailer at a Rowley rest stop off Interstate 95 and soliciting the male driver.
These clowns have a lot to juggle.
Trump the clown exits stage right .
In Milwaukee, a clown and a police officer came to blows.
The man in the clown suit is a local activist who is often seen outside city hall.
Later in the interview, Johnny and Steve chat about clown college, broken noses and his current stand up comedy tour.
Apparently, they were eaten by vampire rats and disembodied clown heads.
Mike Knuble knew it just about when the words "clowns" and "losers" were coming out of his mouth.
Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet is channeling his inner Fizbo the Clown for HBO.

In science:

The humorous effect is caused not only by ”wit” discussed above, but also by the ”comic” (exaggerated movements of a clown, grimaces, caricatures, parodies and so on).
Computer Model of a "Sense of Humour". I. General Algorithm