Definition of knockabout in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnäkəˌbout/


1Denoting a rough, slapstick comic performance.
Example sentences
  • The mood can shift from knockabout comedy to taut thriller in a heartbeat, which keeps the viewer from becoming complacent: One never knows what the film is going to do next.
  • It takes something close to idiocy to think that Shaw's comedy Arms and the Man can be played as knockabout farce.
  • If this sounds like an unlikely subject for knockabout comedy, it is, but Booker prize winner DBC Pierre almost pulls it off.
2(Of clothes) suitable for rough use.


1A rough, slapstick comic performance.
Example sentences
  • Now, at one level this is all harmless political knockabout.
  • It is a fairy tale with links at various points to The Magic Flute, though there is less knockabout and more gentle humour in Henze's comedy.
  • Behind the day's knockabout lay serious politicking over both policy and personalities.
2US A tramp or vagrant.
3North American A small yacht or dinghy.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: knock·a·bout

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