Definition of knockabout in English:


Line breaks: knock|about
Pronunciation: /ˈnɒkəbaʊt


  • 1Denoting rough, slapstick comedy.
    More 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.


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  • 1A rough, slapstick comic performance.
    More 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.
  • 3Australian /NZ A farm or station handyman.
    More example sentences
    • As the film opens, Jake Gyllenhaal's Jack and Heath Ledger's Ennis are two ordinary-enough knockabouts hired to herd sheep in Wyoming in the summer of 1963.
  • 4North American A small yacht or dinghy.

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