Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A short comic piece performed after a play.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piece performed after a play, usually a farce or other small entertainment.
  • n. The heel of a rudder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece performed after a play, usually a farce or other small entertainment.
  • n. The heel of a rudder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A short dramatic entertainment performed after the principal play.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a brief dramatic piece (usually comic) presented after a play

Etymologies

after +‎ piece (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • First used to supplement or preface a short three-act play so as to eke out a full evening's entertainment, the little play was known as either an "afterpiece" or a

    Writing for Vaudeville

  • This was the strategic afterpiece of a country that had, in the 210 years from its founding in 1783 to the fall of the Berlin Wall, plotted and achieved a vertical and vertiginous rise from obscurity to global preeminence without the least precedent or parallel in the history of the world.

    Conrad Black: My Manifesto For the Occupy Movement

  • That this is so lends particular irony to the observations and predictions made by the reviewer for the Mirror of the Stage; or, New Dramatic Censor, who wrote in August 1823 that this drama would perhaps have done very well as an afterpiece; but there is not sufficient interest for

    Introduction

  • The next night he came in late, and stayed very quietly for the afterpiece, and on the third and last night of his stay in London — why, Taglioni was going to dance at the Opera, — Taglioni! and there was to be Don Giovanni, which he admired of all things in the world: so

    The History of Pendennis

  • Thus it befel that Charles Jenkin, coming too late for the epic of the French wars, played a small part in the dreary and disgraceful afterpiece of St. Helena.

    Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin

  • It was migration of peoples, the last advance of Asiatic races towards Europe, followed only by the fruitless attempts of those under Attila, Zenghis Khan, and Timur, and as a comic afterpiece, by the gipsies, — it was this movement which swept away the humanity of the ancients.

    Religion

  • “An afterpiece instead of a comedy,” said Mr. Bertram.

    Mansfield Park

  • The afterpiece, "The Lime Kiln Club," was quite a pretentious affair for

    Watch Yourself Go By

  • Would you learn what men gain by admitting a member of the fair sex into their conspiracies? read the tragedy of "Venice Preserved"; and, by way of afterpiece, this little chapter.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866

  • There is only one comedy, or at most two, among the Sagas -- the story of the Confederates (_Bandamanna Saga_) with an afterpiece, the short story of Alecap (_Olkofra Þáttr_).

    Epic and Romance Essays on Medieval Literature

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