Definition of dumbshow in English:


Syllabification: dumb·show
Pronunciation: /ˈdəmˌSHō
(also dumb show)


  • 1Gestures used to convey a meaning or message without speech; mime: they demonstrated in dumbshow how the tea should be made
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    • When you go to church, it's a hollow, diluted dumbshow: when I go to church, every gesture aches with meaning and immanence.
    • You will never, never, see someone turn right around and walk the way they were going without some accompanying dumbshow that indicates that they're not odd, they've just forgotten something.
    • If there's one thing that's duller than an Academy Awards ceremony, it's the red-carpet dumbshow that precedes it.
  • 1.1A piece of dramatic mime: there were gags, spoofs, and dumbshows
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    • He leads a little troupe of amateur actors from village to village, putting on an old-fashioned dumbshow - a type of humorous play with a stock plot.
    • A Modernist and postmodernist epic, in places it performs the play of sestina or sonnet in an absurd or unusual light; it recasts regular and irregular histories, offering speaking parts alongside dumbshow.
    • Now, one reason for not assigning names to the characters in our dumbshow above was to avoid any personal issues entering the discussion.
  • 1.2(Especially in English drama of the 16th and 17th centuries) a part of a play acted in mime to summarize, supplement, or comment on the main action.
    More example sentences
    • This second trio of children functions as a dumbshow for the verbalised ‘adult’ drama of the main story.

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