• WordNet 3.6
    • adj knockabout suitable for rough use "a knockabout overcoat","a knockabout old car"
    • adj knockabout full of rough and exuberant animal spirits "boisterous practical jokes","knockabout comedy"
    • n knockabout a sloop with a simplified rig and no bowsprit
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Knockabout A knockabout performer or performance.
    • Knockabout A man hired on a sheep station to do odd jobs.
    • Knockabout (Naut) A small yacht, generally from fifteen to twenty-five feet in length, having a mainsail and a jib; a sloop with a simplified rig and no bowsprit. All knockabouts have ballast and either a keel or centerboard. The original type was twenty-one feet in length. The next larger type is called a raceabout.
    • knockabout Characterized by, or suitable for, knocking about, or traveling or wandering hither and thither; suitable for use in rough activity; suited for everyday use; -- used especially of clothing.
    • knockabout Marked by knocking about or roughness.
    • knockabout Of noisy and violent character; marked by farce, pratfalls, and horseplay; as, knockabout comedy.
    • knockabout That does odd jobs; -- said of a class of hands or laborers on a sheep station.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • knockabout Noting something which knocks (other things) about; rough; buffeting; boisterous: as, a knockabout game of foot-ball.
    • knockabout Accustomed to knock about or to be knocked about: as, a knockabout globe-trotter; suitable to be knocked about in: as, a knockabout coat.
    • knockabout Noisy; full of horse-play: as, a knockabout entertainment; knockabout business.
    • knockabout In Australia, applied to a jack of all trades on a station.
    • n knockabout A traveler; one who has knocked about.
    • n knockabout A performer in a knockabout playorsketch;the sketch itself.
    • n knockabout In Australia, a hand on a station who does a little of everything.
    • n knockabout A small sailing-yacht of light construction and simple sail rig, the latter consisting of a mainsail and a jib bent on a stay that is set up on the stem of the boat. These boats, as a rule, are flat-bottomed, with a fin-keel, and can be handled very quickly, going from one tack to another without apparently losing speed. Some knockabouts are provided with a center-board instead of a fin, for use in shallow waters.
    • n knockabout A small launch.
    • ***


In literature:

His life was a tragedy written in the terms of knockabout farce.
"The Moon and Sixpence" by W. Somerset Maugham
We'd had a couple of knockabouts to help with the cooking and stockyard work.
"Robbery Under Arms" by Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood
This horse must have been raised, I think, in the knockabout song-and-dance business.
"Cobb's Anatomy" by Irvin S. Cobb
Having settled myself, or my property rather, I put on my knockabout clothes and went out for a walk.
"The People of the Abyss" by Jack London
I laugh at the knockabout brothers, I confess, so long as they are on the stage; but they do not convince me.
"The Angel and the Author - and Others" by Jerome K. Jerome
The above are well known on the South Coast as sound, wholesome knockabout boats, with ample cruising accommodation.
"Actions and Reactions" by Rudyard Kipling
He's just an ordinary knockabout like you and me.
"Dubliners" by James Joyce
He wore a long frock coat instead of the usual knockabout suit he affected on the farm.
"A Little Book for Christmas" by Cyrus Townsend Brady
At first the set was content with giving a sort of low comedian, knockabout performance.
"The Loom of Youth" by Alec Waugh
Twice a week, rain or shine, she was crew of the young gentleman's knockabout.
"We Three" by Gouverneur Morris

In news:

The Holy Trinity of knockabout numbskull comedy—fritz-haloed Larry, yipping lummox Curly, and bowl-cut fascist Moe—are introduced as they're ditched on the steps of an orphanage.
There are few performers whose all-out exertion and knockabout good cheer elicit such immediate and fantastic audience rapport.