coulrophobia

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek κωλοβαθριστής (kōlobathristḗs, one who goes on stilts), from κωλόβαθρον (kōlóbathron, stilt), from κῶλον (kôlon, limb) + βαίνω (baínō, I go) + -phobia (fear of), from φόβος (phóbos, fear).

Pronunciation[edit]

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Particularly: "UK"
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Noun[edit]

coulrophobia (uncountable)

  1. The irrational fear of clowns.
    • 2004: Phineas Mollod & Jason Tesauro, The Modern Lover: A Playbook for Suitors, Spouses & Ringless Carousers, p39
      After you plug in your wish list and dating criteria, search results spit out matches; it’s like scanning a room of a thousand and pinpointing the ten who share your favorite author and chronic coulrophobia (fear of clowns).
    • 2005: Andy P. Field, Discovering Statistics Using SPSS: (and Sex, Drugs and Rock ‛n’ roll), p569
      8Unfortunately, the first time they attempted the study, the clown accidentally burst one of the balloons. The noise frightened the children and they associated that fear response with the clown. All 15 children are currently in therapy for coulrophobia!
    • 2006: Crimson de la Voire, Crimson’s Erotica: Volume One — A Collection of Stories About Submission and Pleasure, p35
      The ironic twist is that he recently admitted to a possible onset of coulrophobia.

Synonyms[edit]