Ber·​ga·​masque | \ ˈbər-gə-ˌmask How to pronounce Bergamasque (audio) \
plural Bergamasques

Definition of Bergamasque

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a native or inhabitant of Bergamo, Italy In 1584 he was apprenticed for 4 years to Simone Peterzano, a Bergamasque who claimed to have been a pupil of Titian.— Peter and Linda Murray, A Dictionary of Art and Artists, 1959
2 : the Italian dialect of Bergamo Calmo's comedies are unique in that he utilized a variety of dialects and languages (Venetian, Bergamasque … German, Turkish, and a Greek-Venetian dialect) to create farcical plots … — Suzanne Magnanini, in Monsters in the Italian Literary Imagination, 2001 … Puss himself elegantly lubricates his virile, muscular, native Bergamasque with French, since this is the only language in which you can purr.— Angela Carter, The Greatest Cat Stories Ever Told, 2001
3 bergamasque or less commonly Bergamask \ ˈbər-​gə-​ˌmask \ or Bergomask \ ˈbər-​gə-​ˌmask \ : a folk dance of the Bergamo region of northern Italy popular mainly in the sixteenth century The final bergamasque is performed to the pulsating throb of Japanese drums. — Jeff Bradley, Denver Post (Colorado), 23 July 1997 The most memorable event at the play's end isn't the courtly bergamasque or the marriage song; instead it is an affirmation of chaos, it is a tale told by an idiot, by a whole gang of idiots.— Daniel Albright, Musicking Shakespeare: A Conflict of Theatres, 2007 … the second theme … is repeated immediately, with richer orchestration, and is followed by a swelling transition that leads to a so-called Bergamasque Dance (the word suggests the clownish manners reputedly characteristic of the peasants of Bergamo).— Donald N. Ferguson, Masterworks of the Orchestral Repertoire, 1968 … it is an inspired idea to have the Bergomask danced with a manic energy that positively compels the courtiers' participation. — Michael Billington, The Guardian (London), 20 Aug. 1988


Ber·​ga·​masque | \ ˈbər-gə-ˌmask How to pronounce Bergamasque (audio) \

Definition of Bergamasque (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of Bergamo, Italy … the Bergamasque humanist Raffaele Regio …— Virginia Cox, Renaissance Quarterly, 22 Sept. 2003 The extraordinary "Still Life with Instruments" by Evaristo Baschenis, a Bergamasque painter who lived from 1607–77 … — Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 9 May 1993 All parts are played by Bergamasque people, not actors, who speak their dialect.— Stanley Kauffmann, Before My Eyes, 1980

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First Known Use of Bergamasque


1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1804, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of Bergamasque was in 1792

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Cite this Entry

“Bergamasque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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