Zany meaning

zānē
The definition of zany is something or someone silly or unusual.

A person who is odd and who doesn't fit the normal mold is an example of someone who would be described as zany.

adjective
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A comical person given to extravagant or outlandish behavior.
noun
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Comical or ludicrous because of incongruity or strangeness.
adjective
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A ludicrous, buffoonish character in old comedies who attempts feebly to mimic the tricks of the clown.
noun
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A clown or buffoon; specif., a former stock character in comedies who clownishly aped the principal actors.
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A silly or foolish person; simpleton.
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Of or characteristic of a zany.
  • Comical in an extravagantly ludicrous or slapstick manner.
  • Foolish or crazy.
adjective
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Unusual and bizarre in a funny, comical way; outlandish; clownish.
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Alexander Pope.

Preacher at once, and zany of thy age.

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1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4

So there he caught me lying like a zany on the ground. You may guess I stood at attention soon enough, but told him I was looking at the founds to see if they wanted underpinning from the floods.

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Origin of zany

  • French zani from Italian dialectal zanni from Zanni variant of Italian Gianni nickname for Giovanni John, the name of servants who act as clowns in commedia dell'arte

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Italian zanni (a kind of masked clown character), itself (when capitalized) a dialectal form of Giovanni.

    From Wiktionary