Definition of slapstick in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Comedy based on deliberately clumsy actions and humorously embarrassing events.

    ‘slapstick humour’
    • ‘A series of slapstick events leave both penniless and on the run, where they form a grudging bond.’
    • ‘A lack of imagination on the part of the writer, the director and the actors results in slapstick comedy and innuendoes in dialogues.’
    • ‘We are fed up of slapstick comedies and dialogues filled with double meaning.’
    • ‘The film is billed as a sophisticated comedy that gleefully mixes slapstick humour, with something a little more grown-up for all viewers.’
    • ‘The tone, which veers from slapstick comedy to mawkish melodrama, is as volatile as nitroglycerine.’
    • ‘What follows from here is unbridled mawkishness interrupted by some slapstick comedy.’
    • ‘This is aiming to be a sort of slapstick comedy but, as you say, it's very intermittent.’
    • ‘His movements, reactions and slapstick comedy were a treat to watch.’
    • ‘But a lot of the comedy is silly slapstick stuff, with people hitting each other with balloons and getting into fights.’
    • ‘It is a comedy with both slapstick and verbal humour.’
    • ‘It would be funny, like one of the old silent slapsticks.’
    • ‘John giggled at the slapstick, not quite understanding what all of the fear in the air was about.’
    • ‘Families enjoyed the fun-filled evening of good music, slapstick comedy and all-around entertainment.’
    • ‘Such typical comedy tricks such as speeding up the film, slapstick humor, and wacky looks are all present here.’
    • ‘The script is dreadful - even the slapstick fails to raise a smile.’
    • ‘Every joke in the film works for me, even the slapstick at the sidewalk cafe and the barge, and I'm not a big fan of physical comedy.’
    • ‘But it should not be reduced to something showing slapstick comedies and lewd jokes.’
    • ‘As one expects of Elton, it's all done with slapstick humour, parody, irony and lots of absurd action.’
    • ‘This satirical, slapstick comedy is a feel-good film that is effortless to watch.’
    • ‘Their happy laughter rang down the tunnel as they appreciated the irony, or failing that, the slapstick.’
    humorous, funny, droll, amusing, entertaining, diverting, absurd, ridiculous, comical, chucklesome, farcical, silly, slapstick, hilarious, uproarious, hysterical, hysterically funny, zany
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  • 2A device consisting of two flexible pieces of wood joined together at one end, used by clowns and in pantomime to produce a loud slapping noise.

    ‘a loud and exhilarating rattle of bladders and slapsticks’
    • ‘I'll slap her upside the head one of these days, and not with a slapstick.’
    • ‘Jerry whacked at the old soldier's head with a sympathetic slapstick.’
    • ‘The paddles turned out to be harmless slapsticks, with holes through the actual paddle part so they could cause a loud slapping noise without hurting.’