Definition of masque in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /mask/


1A form of amateur dramatic entertainment, popular among the nobility in 16th- and 17th-century England, which consisted of dancing and acting performed by masked players.
Example sentences
  • Dancing plays a part in the staged entertainments or masques which occur within several plays.
  • The literary element was probably the most important component and among those who wrote texts for masques were Ben Jonson and John Milton.
  • If my own enthusiasm was kept within bounds, it was partly because Noble treats this wonderful, neglected play as if it were a spectacular masque or Jacobean musical.
2 variant spelling of mask (sense 2 of the noun).



Pronunciation: /ˈmaskər/


Early 16th century (in the sense 'masquerade or masked ball'): probably a back-formation (with spelling influenced by French masque 'mask') from masker, from Italian mascar 'person wearing a mask'.

Words that rhyme with masque

ask, bask, cask, flask, Krasnoyarsk, mask, task

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: masque

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.