noun har·le·quin \ˈhär-li-k(w)ən\

: a pattern of diamond-shaped figures of different colors

: a comic character in old stories and plays who wears a mask and colorful clothes with a diamond pattern

Full Definition of HARLEQUIN

a capitalized :  a character in comedy and pantomime with a shaved head, masked face, variegated tights, and wooden sword
b :  buffoon
a :  a variegated pattern (as of a textile)
b :  a combination of patches on a solid ground of contrasting color (as in the coats of some dogs)

Examples of HARLEQUIN

  1. <among the court entertainers waiting to enter the grand hall were masked harlequins in brightly colored pantaloons>

Illustration of HARLEQUIN


ultimately from Italian arlecchino, from Middle French Helquin, a demon
First Known Use: 1590

Other Performing Arts Terms

diva, dramaturgy, loge, prestidigitation, proscenium, supernumerary, zany
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