Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A literary or dramatic work that makes fun of something, often by means of outlandish exaggeration.
  • noun A ludicrous or mocking imitation; a travesty.
  • noun A variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, dancing, and striptease.
  • intransitive verb To imitate mockingly or humorously.
  • intransitive verb To use the methods or techniques of burlesque.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Tending to excite laughter by a ludicrous contrast between the subject and the manner of treating it, as when a serious subject is treated ridiculously or a trifling one with solemnity.
  • noun A burlesque literary or dramatic composition; travesty; caricature.
  • noun A piece composed in burlesque style; a travesty; in modern use often specifically a theatrical piece, a kind of dramatic extravaganza, usually based upon a serious play or subject, with more or less music in it.
  • noun A ludicrous or debasing caricature of any kind; a gross perversion.
  • noun Synonyms Parody, Travesty, etc. See caricature.
  • To make ridiculous by mocking representation; caricature; travesty.
  • To use caricature.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To employ burlesque.
  • adjective Tending to excite laughter or contempt by extravagant images, or by a contrast between the subject and the manner of treating it, as when a trifling subject is treated with mock gravity; jocular; ironical.
  • noun Ludicrous representation; exaggerated parody; grotesque satire.
  • noun An ironical or satirical composition intended to excite laughter, or to ridicule anything.
  • noun A ludicrous imitation; a caricature; a travesty; a gross perversion.
  • transitive verb To ridicule, or to make ludicrous by grotesque representation in action or in language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective parodical
  • noun A derisive art form that mocks by imitation; a parody
  • noun A variety adult entertainment show, usually including titillation such as striptease, most common from the 1880s to the 1930s.
  • verb To make a burlesque parody of

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

  • adjective relating to or characteristic of a burlesque
  • noun a theatrical entertainment of broad and earthy humor; consists of comic skits and short turns (and sometimes striptease)
  • verb make a parody of
  • noun a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody's style, usually in a humorous way

Etymologies

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

[From French, comical, from Italian burlesco, from burla, joke, probably from Spanish, from Vulgar Latin *burrula, diminutive of Late Latin burrae, nonsense, from burra, wool.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French burlesque, from Italian burlesco ("parodic").

Examples

  • The word burlesque comes from the Latin word burra meaning nonsense and the Italian word burla meaning mockery.

    Happy Halloween: I will embody burlesque!

  • The word burlesque comes from the Latin word burra meaning nonsense and the Italian word burla meaning mockery.

    Happy Halloween: I will embody burlesque!

  • It proved to be the lowest kind of music-ball down in the Loop district what they call burlesque nowadays-with sawdust on the floor, a great bar down one side of the hall doing a roaring trade, pit and gallery crowded with raucous toughs and their flash tarts, an atmosphere blue with smoke and a programme to match.

    Isabelle

  • It proved to be the lowest kind of music-ball down in the Loop district what they call burlesque nowadays-with sawdust on the floor, a great bar down one side of the hall doing a roaring trade, pit and gallery crowded with raucous toughs and their flash tarts, an atmosphere blue with smoke and a programme to match.

    Flashman And The Redskins

  • It proved to be the lowest kind of music-ball down in the Loop district what they call burlesque nowadays-with sawdust on the floor, a great bar down one side of the hall doing a roaring trade, pit and gallery crowded with raucous toughs and their flash tarts, an atmosphere blue with smoke and a programme to match.

    Flashman and The Redskins

  • He would later leave to play piano or organ in burlesque houses.

    Five People Born on April 11 | myFiveBest

  • He worked in burlesque and vaudeville theaters and then on Broadway in such plays as The Night Circus (1958), One More River (1960), and Do Re Mi (1962).

    Five People Born at the End of April | myFiveBest

  • It had been an audacious notion, the idea that Wellesley would accept the hard-working little Jewish girl with the Cuban heels and the father in burlesque and the New York apartment (by then, there was a Latin Quarter in Times Square) that her mother had decorated in pale yellow and lavender brocade, “like a huge Easter egg.”

    The Uses of Enchantment

  • It had been an audacious notion, the idea that Wellesley would accept the hard-working little Jewish girl with the Cuban heels and the father in burlesque and the New York apartment (by then, there was a Latin Quarter in Times Square) that her mother had decorated in pale yellow and lavender brocade, “like a huge Easter egg.”

    The Uses of Enchantment

  • It had been an audacious notion, the idea that Wellesley would accept the hard-working little Jewish girl with the Cuban heels and the father in burlesque and the New York apartment (by then, there was a Latin Quarter in Times Square) that her mother had decorated in pale yellow and lavender brocade, “like a huge Easter egg.”

    The Uses of Enchantment

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • It also have some darker conotations... judging by the bizarre atmosphere of some parties currently happening in London, that is.

    March 13, 2008