Definition of vaudeville in English:

vaudeville

Line breaks: vaude|ville
Pronunciation: /ˈvɔːdəvɪl
 
, ˈvəʊd-/

noun

[mass noun]
1A type of entertainment popular chiefly in the US in the early 20th century, featuring a mixture of speciality acts such as burlesque comedy and song and dance: his comedic roots are in vaudeville [as modifier]: a stage show with vaudeville acts and dancing girls
More example sentences
  • Their march will take them to the old Town Hall, which has been replaced by ‘The Palace,’ a saloon that features vaudeville acts and dancing girls.
  • Singalongs, comedy acts, and ‘variety’ performances were staged in pubs regularly before music halls and vaudeville theatres became firmly established from the mid-nineteenth century.
  • As early as 1913, Billboard, a music industry journal, had begun printing weekly sheet music bestseller charts and surveys of the most popular songs in vaudeville.
1.1 [count noun] A light or comic stage play with interspersed songs.
More example sentences
  • Cellier wrote numerous comic operas, vaudevilles, one grand opera, The Masque of Pandora, and a few instrumental works.
  • In English Canada, Shakespeare served as protection against the incursions of American commercialism; in French Canada, against imported French vaudevilles.
  • It made its presence felt in turn-of-the-century vaudevilles and was crucial to many Hollywood comedies in the years surrounding World War II, particularly the films of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder.
1.2 [count noun] archaic A satirical or topical song with a refrain.

Origin

mid 18th century: from French, earlier vau de ville (or vire), said to be a name given originally to songs composed by Olivier Basselin, a 15th-century fuller born in Vau de Vire in Normandy.

Derivatives

vaudevillian

Pronunciation: /-ˈvɪlɪən/
adjective & noun
More example sentences
  • He was the character actor, I was more the vaudevillian, pantomime comedian, and we both learnt a lot from each other.
  • Coming to us from Toronto, this ‘dark vaudevillian comedy’ tells the true story of a couple of Victorian girls who claimed they could communicate with the dead.
  • On Wednesday, TV Land is rerunning an episode of Fantasy Island with Phil Silvers as a has-been vaudevillian.

More definitions of vaudeville

Definition of vaudeville in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grammarian
Pronunciation: grəˈmɛːrɪən
noun
a person who studies and writes about grammar