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1. A comedy or pantomime in which Harlequin is the main attraction.
2. Farcical clowning or buffoonery.

[Obsolete French, from harlequin, harlequin; see harlequin.]


1. (Theatre) (sometimes capital) theatre a play or part of a pantomime in which harlequin has a leading role
2. buffoonery


(ˌhɑr lə kwɪˈneɪd, -kɪ-)

1. a pantomime, farce, or similar play in which Harlequin plays the principal part.
2. buffoonery.
[1770–80; < French arlequinade]


a performance involving Harlequin or other characters of the Commedia dell’Arte; hence, buffoonery or clownish behavior. Also harlequinery.
See also: Behavior
a performance involving Harlequin or other characters of the Commedia dell’Arte; hence, buffoonery or clownish behavior. Also called harlequinery.
See also: Performing
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.harlequinade - acting like a clown or buffoonharlequinade - acting like a clown or buffoon  
foolery, tomfoolery, lunacy, craziness, folly, indulgence - foolish or senseless behavior
schtick, schtik, shtick, shtik - (Yiddish) a prank or piece of clowning; "his shtik made us laugh"
References in periodicals archive ?
As the scene in Brighton or the reference to a new Strand bridge suggest, the harlequinade sought a good deal of its energy in reference to current fads, fashions, and events.
Sarah Connolly sings the distraught composer, Orla Boylen sings Ariadne, and Gillian Keith, Zerbinetta the actress, in the harlequinade and musical director Lothar Koenigs conducts.
The artist caught in various moments of a short circuit of movement (onrush, harlequinade, prostration) braved for unverifiable intent.
85) The feminine force, reaching its apotheosis in theVirgin Mary, is thus Co-redemptrix, linked with the redeeming work of her son and linked with his work as "master of Harlequinade .
On the reverse of the promissory note was a description of the Harlequinade on offer, "a new version of the History of England .
There'd be no big screen; everyone would have binoculars swinging from their shoulders, straps weighed down with a harlequinade of battered cardboard shields denoting long years of attendance and the inability to throw anything away.
Other unforgettable portrayals in Balanchine ballets include the Father in Prodigal Son, Leandre in Harlequinade, and the Baron in La Sonnambula, as well as the meek music lover in Robbins' The Concert and the Bartender in Fancy Free.
Commedia dell'arte gave rise to the harlequinade, who, though we usually instantly recognise as being a theatrical invention and which used to be an essential character in pantomime, has sadly declined and is now rarely seen.
The point was not lost on Shakespeare, nor on the Harlequinade of Marivaux (whom Fowles has translated).
Like Napier, Scott objected in part to Blackwood's' confounding humor, claiming that the journal "assumed the externals of harlequinade and buffoonery" and, through its frequent publication of anonymous and pseudonymous pieces, created "a mystification .
The same geographical and topical disconnection apparent in De Quincey's dream sequences, if not their apocalyptic tone, can be found in a synopsis of scenes from the harlequinade portion of Fashion's Fools: "[P]art of the Monastery of the Blackfriars," "Camp Scene" (with "animated cannon"), "Ouse Bridge, York," "Caen Wood, Middlesex," "Smithfield Market," "Billingsgate," .
The muted colours of early Cubist paintings are used for the costumes echoing a Picasso harlequinade and wistfully evocative of the age of Diaghalev.