Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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 ?
The Covent Garden harlequinade, Harlequin and Fortunio; or The Treasures of China, like Harlequin Brilliant, opens in an orientalizing mode, with the frame for the harlequinade proper taking place in China; the pantomime scenes take us to England, first to Brighton, with the Regent's oriental royal pavilion, and then London, before concluding on the field of Waterloo.
It soon develops its Harlequinade, the bad jokesmith, the unstoppable talker, the maddening interrupter, the toadies, bad-mouthers, extroverts and those who just sit in silent despair.
In Harlequinade he told me the French commedia dell'arte clown was a principal dancer, but in Italian commedia dell'arte, Pulcinella was a dirty old man.
As has been shown elsewhere, Marshall and Gordon were steeped in pantomime tradition, and Gordon was taught routines by a surviving clown performer, Harry Ewins, from the Edwardian dying days of Harlequinade (Abbott Panto 13).
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.
Being the daughter of one of the most celebrated dancers in the Philippines and in the world, is certainly something to be proud of for Missy Elizalde especially now that she is performing her mother Lisa Macuja's graduation piece, the Harlequinade pas de deux at the Vaganova Academy in Russia.
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.
A foreshortened and chaotic finale burlesques the traditionally measured dramatic sequence of the commedia figures as the play ends in an uproar of the Harlequinade in which the traditional tokens of sausages, perambulator, policeman and vegetables make flying appearances.
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 .
These represent a broad aesthetic spectrum: Millay's use of the Harlequinade and Virgil's Eclogues; the allegorical fantasies of Louise Bryant and Mary Carolyn Davies; the feminist realism of Alice Rostetter, Bosworth Crocker, and Edna Ferber; and the comedy of Djuna Barnes, Rita Wellman, and Susan Glaspell.