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From clown +‎ -ish.



clownish (comparative more clownish, superlative most clownish)

  1. (now rare) Pertaining to peasants; rustic.
  2. (now rare) Uncultured, boorish; rough, coarse.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.1:
      Large were his limbes, and terrible his looke, / And in his clownish hand a sharp bore speare he shooke.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, Volume I, Chapter 4:
      "He is very plain, undoubtedly--remarkably plain:--but that is nothing compared with his entire want of gentility. I had no right to expect much, and I did not expect much; but I had no idea that he could be so very clownish, so totally without air. I had imagined him, I confess, a degree or two nearer gentility."
  3. Like a circus clown; comical, ridiculous.
    • 2014, Jacob Steinberg, "Wigan shock Manchester City in FA Cup again to reach semi-finals", The Guardian, 9 March 2014:
      Once again, City's defending was clownish. James McArthur drove into the area on the left and pulled a low cross towards the far post, where the horribly timid Gaël Clichy allowed Perch to bundle the ball past Costel Pantilimon.
    • 2005, Laura Barton, The Guardian, 14 May 2005:
      Indeed, when in close quarters to Rooney, it must prove almost irresistible to stick a plastic moustache and silly clownish shoes on the potato-headed fool.

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