zany Definitions


ludicrously or incongruously comical.


a fool or clown, especially one whose business on the stage is to imitate foolishly the actions of the principal clown.


to mimic foolishly.

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Examples include zany

  • this is not a hollywood movie, you won't come up with a zany plan to expose the evil deeds of a dastardly mega-corporation. there will be no explosions, no car chases and no credits rolling at the end. there will only be you hiding behind your pile of excuses and refusing to face reality. everydayhealth.com

  • reubens launched his career while performing with an improvisational comedy troupe where he introduced the zany man-child character pee-wee herman. the reaction pee-wee received inspired reubens to write and perform in pee-wee's big adventure (1985). reubens then signed with cbs to create the children's' show, pee-wee's playhouse (1986). reubens' film credits include batman returns (1992), the nightmare before christmas (1993), buddy (1997), and mystery men (1999). factmonster.com

  • a popular character in old italian plays, who imitated with ludicrous incompetence the buffone, or clown, and was therefore the ape of an ape; for the clown himself imitated the serious characters of the play. the zany was progenitor to the specialist in humor, as we to-day have the unhappiness to know him. in the zany we see an example of creation; in the humorist, of transmission. another excellent specimen of the modern zany is the curate, who apes the rector, who apes the bishop, who apes the archbishop, who apes the devil. infoplease.com

  • an inventive fantasy. a madcapped journey through history, in which the tot, craig warnock is whisked out of his home by six zany dwarfs holding a map that reveals gaps in the universe. their mission to rectify various portions of human history that disappoint the mastermind of the universe, "supreme being." loc.gov