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zany Syllabification: za·ny
Pronunciation: /ˈzānē/

Definition of zany in English:

adjective (zanier, zaniest)

Amusingly unconventional and idiosyncratic: zany humor
More example sentences
  • His zany humour took comedy to new heights of absurdity.
  • We both liked making costumes and had a similarly zany sense of humour.
  • For those with a zany sense of humor, the adventures of Lieutenant Frank Drebin were a laugh riot from beginning to end.


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1An erratic or eccentric person.
Example sentences
  • We are looking for the zany, the serious, the artistic and ridiculous.
  • I love students, what a zany, crazy bunch they are.
1.1 historical A comic performer partnering a clown, whom he imitated in an amusing way.


Late 16th century: from French zani or Italian zan(n)i, Venetian form of Gianni, Giovanni 'John', stock name of the servants acting as clowns in the commedia dell'arte.

  • Zany was the name of one of the servants in the improvized Italian theatre, the commedia dell'arte, popular from the 16th to 18th centuries. The word is a Venetian form of Gianni, which itself is short for Giovanni. In its earliest uses in English a zany was a comic performer who imitated the actions of a clown or acrobat, and zany described his behaviour. See also pantaloons





Example sentences
  • It often thinks wackiness or zaniness is a virtue.
  • Surely this is British zaniness at its very best.
  • While rumors of alcoholism and overall zaniness have circulated in the press, I think this just adds to Lula's mystique.

Words that rhyme with zany

Bahraini, brainy, Chaney, Eugénie, grainy, Janey, Khomeini, rainy, veiny, waney

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