English Dictionary

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zany (ˈzeɪnɪ Pronunciation for zany



-nier, -niest
  1. comical in an endearing way; imaginatively funny or comical, esp in behaviour


(plural) -nies
  1. a clown or buffoon, esp one in old comedies who imitated other performers with ludicrous effect
  2. a ludicrous or foolish person

Derived Forms

ˈzanily adverb
ˈzaniness noun
ˈzanyism noun

Word Origin

C16: from Italian zanni, from dialect (Venice and Lombardy) Zanni, nickname for Giovanni John; one of the traditional names for a clown


View thesaurus entry
= comical, crazy, nutty, funny, eccentric, wacky, loony, oddball, madcap, goofy, kooky, out there, clownish, wacko or whacko, off the air
= clown, nut, comedian, wag, joker, jester, buffoon, screwball, joculator or (fem.) joculatrix, merry-andrew

Example Sentences Including 'zany'

British film censorship is the most zany back alley of the nanny state.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
Encouraged by the zany humour with the pointed message, small groups of Billionaires sprang up across America.
Globe and Mail (2003)
Everything and everyone was fair game to his zany sense of humour --- whether they liked it or not.
Chris Gidney CELEBRATING SECOMBE: A Tribute to Sir Harry Secombe (2002)
Grumbling, Sameth went to the door, expecting some zany or village fool to grin up at him from behind a breakfast tray.
Now The Cat Is Out Of The Bag Remember the zany ad promising you an out-of-this-world holiday abroad that you nearly fell for.
Business Today (2001)
This gives you a zany watercolour effect that takes a lot of nerve to wear.
Edmonton Sun (2003)


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