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burlesque Line breaks: bur|lesque
Pronunciation: /bəːˈlɛsk/

Definition of burlesque in English:


1An absurd or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work; a parody: a novel which is a burlesque of the literary life [mass noun]: the argument descends into music-hall burlesque
More example sentences
  • It was one of the earliest of English dramatic burlesques, and was much performed during the 18th cent., during which period the genre developed to one of its highest points in Sheridan's The Critic.
  • Mathews concocts burlesques and parodies of such rare excellence as to put one in mind of the broad literary japery of Terry Southern at his most inspired.
  • Translation of the sixth book of the Aeneid, in burlesque. - The burlesque came into fashion at that time.
2A variety show, typically including striptease: [as modifier]: burlesque clubs
More example sentences
  • Canned burlesque music announces the show, and three male dancers stride onstage.
  • My speech was scheduled immediately after the fab and very sexy Immodesty Blaize - a brilliant burlesque striptease artiste and extremely hard act to follow.
  • Rap beauty EVE, who once worked as a stripper before hitting musical success, plays a burlesque dancer in her advertisement.

verb (burlesques, burlesquing, burlesqued)

[with object] Back to top  
Parody or imitate in an absurd or comically exaggerated way: a mock-heroic farce that burlesques the affectations of Restoration heroic drama
More example sentences
  • Consider the number of jokes about Scots that burlesqued their stinginess.
  • But Haskell's narrator isn't burlesquing either Kuntry Kitchen or sun salutations performed on its floor.
  • To be an actor was literally to be consigned to hell, and the theater revenged this slight to its honor by burlesquing religion.


Mid 17th century: from French, from Italian burlesco, from burla 'mockery', of unknown origin.



Example sentences
  • I was truly a burlesquer a time when it was becoming much more about anatomy, and very little about burlesque.
  • It seems that a common question that all burlesquers get asked is How do I get involved in Burlesque?
  • Corset-wearing burlesquers and ordinary folk alike should require no history lessons to understand.

Words that rhyme with burlesque

arabesque, Dantesque, desk, grotesque, humoresque, Junoesque, Kafkaesque, Moresque, picaresque, picturesque, plateresque, Pythonesque, Romanesque, sculpturesque, statuesque

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