Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CLOWNISHNESS

Men are like wine; not good before the lees of clownishness be settled.

It is a caricature of a bird, a mixture of gravity and clownishness.

The remark, but not the clownishness, is adopted by Mr. Punch in regard to the Kelly Book.

He was a fine open-faced young man, without any of the clownishness of the fellah, and spoke in a free and easy but gentle manner.

Fortunately there was no grossness, no clownishness of behavior, which would have irreparably offended his fastidious taste.

License, indeed, and clownishness, but not that abandon which ingenuous joy brings in its train.

He stood awkwardly awaiting her, conscious of the clownishness of his appearance.

WORD ORIGIN

1560s, clowne, also cloyne, "rustic, boor, peasant," origin uncertain. Perhaps from Scandinavian dialect (cf. Icelandic klunni "clumsy, boorish fellow;" Swedish kluns "a hard knob; a clumsy fellow," Danish klunt "log, block"), or akin to North Frisian klönne "clumsy person." Or, less likely, from Latin colonus "colonist, farmer," though awareness of this word might have influenced the sense development in English.

Meaning "professional fool, professional or habitual jester" is c.1600. "The pantomime clown represents a blend of the Shakes[pearean] rustic with one of the stock types of the It. comedy" [Weekley]. Meaning "contemptible person" is from 1920s. Fem. form clowness attested from 1801.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR CLOWNISHNESS

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.