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1. A literary or dramatic work that makes fun of something, often by means of outlandish exaggeration.
2. A ludicrous or mocking imitation; a travesty: The antics of the defense attorneys turned the trial into a burlesque of justice.
3. A variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, dancing, and striptease.
v. bur·lesqued, bur·lesqu·ing, bur·lesques
To imitate mockingly or humorously: "always bringing junk ... home, as if he were burlesquing his role as provider" (John Updike).
To use the methods or techniques of burlesque.
[From French, comical, from Italian burlesco, from burla, joke, probably from Spanish, from Vulgar Latin *burrula, diminutive of Late Latin burrae, nonsense, from burra, wool.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.