cha·​rade | \ shə-ˈrād How to pronounce charade (audio) , -ˈräd How to pronounce charade (audio) \

Definition of charade

1 : a word represented in riddling verse or by picture, tableau, or dramatic action (such as intrusion represented by depiction of inn, true, and shun)
2 charades plural : a game in which some of the players try to guess a word or phrase from the actions of another player who may not speak
3 : an empty or deceptive act or pretense his concern was a charade

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Examples of charade in a Sentence

We've grown tired of your charades. put on a convincing charade to keep her from knowing about the surprise party
Recent Examples on the Web During this entire charade, the wireless monitor is tracking the subject’s physiological state by measuring blood pressure and heart rate, allowing the researchers to closely monitor the effect of the phone separation. Cal Newport, The New Yorker, "E-mail Is Making Us Miserable," 26 Feb. 2021 As is often the case with disinformation, the strategy is to deliver it with a charade of certainty. oregonlive, "PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2020: Downplaying dangers of coronavirus," 21 Dec. 2020 Any policymaker, journalist or pundit who fails to see through this charade needs to find another line of work. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Republicans are complaining (again) about the budget deficit," 4 Dec. 2020 There is no good reason for Coons, or Brown, or McGovern, or any other Democratic politician in Congress, to keep up the charade. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Why Are Democrats Shielding Republican Liars?," 10 Nov. 2020 The timbre of the suffrage story changed on July 14, Bastille Day, after a month of the charade. Alli Hartley-kong, Smithsonian Magazine, "Radical Protests Propelled the Suffrage Movement. Here’s How a New Museum Captures That History," 26 Oct. 2020 Several candidates running for the board said the process was a charade after discovering Cooke was Dotson’s campaign treasurer before the final slate of candidates was even known. Jeff Forward, Chron, "Shared treasurer between PAC, Woodlands candidate draws criticism," 21 Oct. 2020 Cruz’s lawyers have called the office’s reinvestigation a charade. Joe Sexton, ProPublica, "Nelson Cruz’s family was so sure Judge ShawnDya Simpson would free him, they brought a change of clothes to his hearing. Then everything took an unexpected turn. Can justice ever be sorted out?," 12 Oct. 2020 With that line, the purpose of the charade became clear. Griffin Black, Scientific American, "The Whitewashing of Black Genius," 12 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'charade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of charade

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for charade

French, from Occitan charrado chat, from charrá to chat, chatter

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Time Traveler for charade

Time Traveler

The first known use of charade was in 1776

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Statistics for charade

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Charade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for charade



English Language Learners Definition of charade

: something that is done in order to pretend something is true when it is not really true
: a game in which players try to guess a word or phrase from the actions of another player who is not allowed to speak

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More from Merriam-Webster on charade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for charade

Britannica English: Translation of charade for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about charade

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