noun \ˈpa-jənt\

: a play or performance made of scenes from a historical event or a legend

Full Definition of PAGEANT

a :  a mere show :  pretense
b :  an ostentatious display
:  show, exhibition; especially :  an elaborate colorful exhibition or spectacle often with music that consists of a series of tableaux, of a loosely unified drama, or of a procession usually with floats
:  pageantry 1

Examples of PAGEANT

  1. They disagreed with the pageant judges.
  2. Their church puts on an annual Christmas pageant.

Origin of PAGEANT

Middle English pagyn, padgeant, literally, scene of a play, from Anglo-French pagine, pagent, from Medieval Latin pagina, perhaps from Latin, page
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Performing Arts Terms

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


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Large-scale, spectacular theatrical production or procession. In the Middle Ages, a pageant was the wagon on which religious plays such as mystery plays were performed. Because the plays were associated with ceremony and spectacle, the term came to refer to any extravagant dramatic event or colourful celebration. Pageants often serve to express the shared identity of a community or religious group. Secular pageants include coronations and royal weddings; other modern examples are seen in Mardi Gras and other carnival processions.


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