zany [zey-nee] SynonymsExamplesWord Originadjective, za·ni·er, za·ni·est.
- ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish.
noun, plural za·nies.
- one who plays the clown or fool in order to amuse others.
- a comically wild or eccentric person.
- a secondary stock character in old comedies who mimicked his master.
- a professional buffoon; clown.
- a silly person; simpleton.
- a slavish attendant or follower.
Origin of zany 1560–70; (Middle French) Italian zan(n)i (later zanno) a servant character in the commedia dell’arte, perhaps orig. the character’s name, the Upper Italian form of Tuscan Gianni, for Giovanni JohnRelated formsza·ni·ly, adverbza·ni·ness, za·ny·ism, nounza·ny·ish, adjectiveSynonyms for zany kook, crazy, lunatic. Related Words for zany kooky, eccentric, wacky, madcap, goofy, sappy, loony, comical, campy, fool, camp, screwball, idiot, nut, jester, clown, wag, joker, moron, comedian Examples from the Web for zany Contemporary Examples of zany3.
A remembrance of the zany, ad-libbing actor who made us laugh and cry.
August 12, 2014
The proliferation of zany burger toppings came next as an inevitable by-product of the high-end burger fad.
July 31, 2014
It was the zany TV interview he conducted with Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS-TV that made him an instant viral celebrity.
May 17, 2013
Look at her zany appearance with Dave Letterman about tweeting on Ambien for proof of that.
March 27, 2013
Aside from the zany plot, the film stretches the bounds of realism thanks to its bloody zombie kills.
December 14, 2012
Historical Examples of zany
In the zany we see an example of creation; in the humorist, of transmission.
The zany was progenitor to the specialist in humor, as we to-day have the unhappiness to know him.
They sometimes acted the part of a fool or zany (morio), or of a madman.
The explanation of it was that the Shawanoe was a zany or lunatic.
Edward S. Ellis
Boswell’s Tour of the Hebrides was “the story of a mountebank and his zany.”
British Dictionary definitions for zany zany adjective -nier or -niest
- comical in an endearing way; imaginatively funny or comical, esp in behaviour
noun plural -nies
- a clown or buffoon, esp one in old comedies who imitated other performers with ludicrous effect
- a ludicrous or foolish person
Derived Formszanily, adverbzaniness, nounzanyism, nounWord Origin for zany C16: from Italian zanni, from dialect (Venice and Lombardy) Zanni, nickname for Giovanni John; one of the traditional names for a clown Word Origin and History for zany n.
comic performer, 1580s, from French zani, from Italian zani, zanni “a zany, clown,” originally Zanni, Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, pet form of Giovanni “John.” A stock character in old comedies, he aped the principal actors.
1869, from zany (n.). Related: Zanily; zaniness.