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

  • n. A humorous or farcical interlude in a serious literary work or drama, especially a tragedy, intended to relieve the dramatic tension or heighten the emotional impact by means of contrast.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The inclusion of a humorous character or scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension.


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