commedia dellarte


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com•me•dia dell'ar•te

(kəˈmeɪ di ə dɛlˈɑr ti, -ˈɑr teɪ)

n.
Italian popular comedy of the 16th through 18th centuries, in which masked actors improvised from plot outlines based on stock characters.
[1875–80; < Italian: literally, comedy of art]