American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Stage entertainment offering a variety of short acts such as slapstick turns, song-and-dance routines, and juggling performances.
- n. A theatrical performance of this kind; a variety show.
- n. A light comic play that often includes songs, pantomime, and dances.
- n. A popular, often satirical song.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The name given by Oliver Basselin, a French poet of the fifteenth century, to his convivial songs composed in the valley of the Vire, which became very popular throughout France.
- n. Hence In modern French poetry, a light, gay song, frequently embodying a satire, consisting of several couplets with a refrain or burden, sung to a familiar air, and often introduced into theatrical pieces; a song popular with the common people, and sung about the streets; a ballad; a topical song.
- n. A light kind of dramatic entertainment, combining pantomime with dialogue and songs, which obtained great popularity about the middle of the eighteenth century. At present any short, light piece, usually comic, with songs and dances intermingled with the dialogue, is called a vaudeville.
- n. historical, uncountable A style of multi-act theatrical entertainment which flourished in North America from the 1880s through the 1920s.
- n. historical, countable An entertainment in this style.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A kind of song of a lively character, frequently embodying a satire on some person or event, sung to a familiar air in couplets with a refrain; a street song; a topical song.
- n. A theatrical piece, usually a comedy, the dialogue of which is intermingled with light or satirical songs, set to familiar airs.
- n. a variety show when performed live in a theater (see above).
- n. a variety show with songs and comic acts etc.
- Corruption of bawdy village (after the supposedly scandalous nature of chorus lines in 19th century Paris), where the alliterative effect thus realized was supposed to be humorous or comical. (Wiktionary)
- French, alteration of Old French vaudevire, occasional or topical light popular song, possibly short for chanson du Vau de Vire, song of Vau de Vire, a valley of northwest France, or perhaps dialectal vauder, to go + virer, to turn; see veer1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It was late in the 19th century that the French word "vaudeville" came into use to describe these programs; the British called them music halls.”
“The Stooges relied on material they'd honed in vaudeville and nightclubs; they knew what they were doing because they'd been doing it forever, and it was organic to them.”
“After his baseball career ended, Anson went on to have several businesses, a stint in vaudeville, and managing the New York Giants.”
“Â He started his entertainment career in vaudeville in 1902.”
“And don't look for a happy ending: four of them worked in vaudeville to trade on their fame but their lives were broken and shattered all down the line.”
“After stints in vaudeville and nightclubs, he took his act to radio, where the Edgar Bergen – Charlie McCarthy Show (with his caustic and irrepressible dummy Charlie McCarthy) was one of the most popular programs for 20 years (1937 – 57).”
“Rather, he left home at age 18 after many years of practicing his craft as a juggler, and he was a headline star in vaudeville by age 21.”
“David Gergen needs to bring back vaudeville from the dead.”
“Musical comedies never fully disguise their roots in vaudeville, where singers sang and dancers danced for the sheer pleasure of performing.”
“My father had success in vaudeville as a singer/dancer/comedian.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘vaudeville’.
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