from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of dumb show.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A part of a dramatic representation shown pantomimically, chiefly for the sake of exhibiting more of the story than could be otherwise included, but sometimes merely emblematical. Dumb-shows were very common in the earlier English dramas.
  • n. Gesture without words; pantomime: as, to tell a story in dumb-show.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • She was so good that even director Rob Ashford's ill-advised decision to add a tricksy dumb-show not in the text, making explicit the homosexual embrace she witnessed, failed to do much damage.

    James Turrell's Skyspace Offers a Meditation on Light and Time

  • ‘I am here; if you have aught to say let me hear it; my time is too brief to be consumed in childish dumb-show.’


  • I can't speak for anyone else, but this kabuki theater dumb-show has only made me angrier.

    lucy van pelt holds the football

  • They and I were locked in a dumb-show that neither could stand.

    vor f��nfzehn Jahren

  • The room became to Dick like a picture in a dream; all that he could remember of it afterwards being the look of the fiddlers going to sleep, as humming-tops sleep, by increasing their motion and hum, together with the figures of grandfather James and old Simon Crumpler sitting by the chimney-corner, talking and nodding in dumb-show, and beating the air to their emphatic sentences like people near a threshing machine.

    Under the Greenwood Tree

  • "He is a proper man's picture, but alas! who can converse with a dumb-show?"

    Shakespeare's Insult 19 September 2006

  • What this interpretation fails to take into account is that the dumb-show stage monster is able to communicate through his gestures, something utterly impossible for Mary Shelley's creature.

    Patriarchal Fantasy and the Fecal Child in Mary Shelley's _Frankenstein_ and its Adaptations

  • Nor is this dexterity of dumb-show omitted, when he concludes his imitation in these three lines: —

    The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

  • She observed the dumb-show by which her neighbour was expressing her passion for music, but she refrained from copying it.

    Swann's Way

  • And by keeping the pipe firmly in his mouth he could prolong indefinitely the dumb-show of suffocation and hilarity.

    Swann's Way


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