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pageant

Syllabification: pag·eant
Pronunciation: /ˈpajənt
 
/

Definition of pageant in English:

noun

1A public entertainment consisting of a procession of people in elaborate, colorful costumes, or an outdoor performance of a historical scene.
Example sentences
  • Street pageants, parades and outdoor concerts have been lined-up to entertain locals and visitors and the street spectacular should not be missed for those who enjoy the magic of performance arts.
  • They have produced full-scale scripted plays, but their outdoor pageants are the breathtaking highlight of the Public Dreams year.
  • The festivities climax tomorrow in a royal state procession and a colourful pageant of music, dance and theatre.
Synonyms
parade, procession, cavalcade, tableau (vivant);
spectacle, extravaganza, show
1.1 (also beauty pageant) North American A beauty contest.
Example sentences
  • The celebrations in Samokov also included a contest between Roma orchestras, a beauty pageant and a football tournament.
  • Unlike a traditional beauty pageant the contest is a talent showcase.
  • Years ago I had a friend who was a beauty pageant contestant.
1.2 historical A scene erected on a fixed stage or moving vehicle as a public show.
Example sentences
  • In 1576 actor James Burbage built London's first public theater, known simply as The Theatre, which was an open-air structure that combined features of pageant wagons, fixed stages, and banquet halls.
  • Dublin's St Patrick's Festival parade takes place from noon on Wednesday when 3,500 performers will thrill spectators with a stream of ingeniously designed pageants.
  • Blocking of major city roads during peak hours and uninhibited use of loud speakers and other accessories for the pageants have raised a hue and cry among the public.

Origin

late Middle English pagyn, of unknown origin.

More
  • This word had two meanings in Middle English, either a religious play or the moveable platform on which it was performed. It seems to have come via Anglo-Norman from Latin pagina, the source of page, but there is some debate as to how the meaning has changed. It may be from the idea that a play is performed from something written in a manuscript, or it may go back to the Latin source of pagina, pangere ‘to fasten’, referring to the putting together of the temporary stage. The modern sense of a showy parade is not found before the early 19th century.

Definition of pageant in:

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