American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A conventional buffoon of the commedia dell'arte, traditionally presented in a mask and parti-colored tights.
- n. A clown; a buffoon.
- adj. Having a pattern of brightly colored diamond shapes.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In early Italian and later in French comedy, the buffoon or clown, one of the regular character-types. He was noted for his gluttonous buffoonery, afterward modified by something of intriguing malice. On the modern stage he generally appears in pantomime as the lover of Columbine, masked, dressed in tight party-colored clothes covered with spangles, armed with a magic wand or wooden sword, and plays amusing tricks on the other performers.
- n. Hence A buffoon in general; a fantastic fellow; a droll.
- n. In entomology, the magpie-moth, Abraxas grossulariata.
- n. The Oriental or noble opal. Synonyms See
- Party-colored; extremely or fantastically variegated in color: specifically applied in zoölogy to sundry animals.
- Differing in color or decoration; fancifully varied, as a set of dishes. See harlequin service, below.
- To play the droll; make sport by playing ludicrous tricks.
- To remove as if by a harlequin's trick; conjure away.
- n. a pantomime fool, typically dressed in checkered clothes
- adj. brightly coloured, especially in a pattern like that of a harlequin clown's clothes
- v. transitive To remove or conjure away, as if by a harlequin's trick.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A buffoon, dressed in party-colored clothes, who plays tricks, often without speaking, to divert the bystanders or an audience; a merry-andrew; originally, a droll rogue of Italian comedy.
- v. To play the droll; to make sport by playing ludicrous tricks.
- v. To remove or conjure away, as by a harlequin's trick.
- n. a clown or buffoon (after the Harlequin character in the commedia dell'arte)
- v. variegate with spots or marks
- From Middle Dutch hellekijn ("little hell"), then in French hellequin and in Italian Arlecchino, the name of a popular servant character in commedia dell'arte plays from Old French *Harlequin, Halequin, Herlequin, Hellequin ("a demon, malevolent spirit") ultimately from Middle English Herleking, from Old English Herla Cyning ("King Herla"), a mythical figure identified with Woden. (Wiktionary)
- Obsolete French, from Old French Herlequin, Hellequin, a demon, perhaps from Middle English *Herleking, from Old English Herla cyning, King Herla, a mythical figure identified with Woden. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Of course then there is the desert in harlequin, it comes from the first Harleqin I ever read and it will always be a fav”
“The film is "just an excuse for Tykwer to wallow in harlequin muck - sometimes thrilling but mostly tacky," writes Ed Gonzalez at Slant - before he really gets angry at it.”
“The study examines the recent extinctions of species of Atelopus, also know as the harlequin frogs (even though they apparently belong to the toad family), which live in the American tropics.”
“There is also a man with a black face, who is a kind of devil, and called harlequin; at one time he appears, and at another time hides himself, and sometimes attaches himself to the others, and taking the hands of the dancing girls, he dances with them; he then scampers off, and taking a leap, he jumps through a window.”
“This is called the harlequin bug from its fantastic appearance.”
“The harlequin was a little girl named Gilchrist, one of the most beautiful children, in face and figure, that I have ever seen.”
“The harlequin, which is native to Asia, was introduced to America in 1988 and has become the dominant ladybird species on the American continent.”
“After some vain researches the French consul, M. de St. Sauveur, told me that the harlequin was a young lady of rank, and that the columbine was a handsome young man.”
“Ryan was born with a rare genetic skin disorder called harlequin ichthyosis where the skin sheds seven to 10 times faster than normal.”
“There may be a few who look at a Harlequin and think romance (Ok, a lot -- Harlequin has spent a lot of money on their brand, but there are few authors you might think of and think of a "harlequin" author, so it benefits the company, but not the individual.) or Berkeley Prime Crime and think mystery, but most people buy books because of word of mouth or because they like the author.”
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