transitive verb trav·es·ty \ˈtra-və-stē\

Definition of TRAVESTY

:  to make a travesty of :  parody

Examples of TRAVESTY

  1. <this comedy sketch mindlessly travesties the hard work of relief workers around the world>

First Known Use of TRAVESTY




: something that is shocking, upsetting, or ridiculous because it is not what it is supposed to be

plural travesties

Full Definition of TRAVESTY

:  a burlesque translation or literary or artistic imitation usually grotesquely incongruous in style, treatment, or subject matter
:  a debased, distorted, or grossly inferior imitation <a travesty of justice>

Examples of TRAVESTY

  1. It is a travesty and a tragedy that so many people would be denied the right to vote.
  2. The trial was a travesty of justice.

Origin of TRAVESTY

obsolete English travesty disguised, parodied, from French travesti, past participle of travestir to disguise, from Italian travestire, from tra- across (from Latin trans-) + vestire to dress, from Latin — more at vest
First Known Use: 1674

Synonym Discussion of TRAVESTY

caricature, burlesque, parody, travesty mean a comic or grotesque imitation. caricature implies ludicrous exaggeration of the characteristic features of a subject <caricatures of politicians in cartoons>. burlesque implies mockery especially through giving a serious or lofty subject a frivolous treatment <a nightclub burlesque of a trial in court>. parody applies especially to treatment of a trivial or ludicrous subject in the exactly imitated style of a well-known author or work <a witty parody of a popular novel>. travesty implies that the subject remains unchanged but that the style is extravagant or absurd <this production is a travesty of the opera>.

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody


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