cha·​rade shə-ˈrād How to pronounce charade (audio) -ˈräd How to pronounce charade (audio)
: a word represented in riddling verse or by picture, tableau, or dramatic action (such as intrusion represented by depiction of inn, true, and shun)
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
: an empty or deceptive act or pretense
his concern was a charade

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 Was that the proper time to pull the covers off the charade? Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 28 Nov. 2023 Off the floor, other members of Fox seemed equally tired of the charade. Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, The New Republic, 18 Oct. 2023 After teaming up to compete in the charades segment of a quiz show hosted by Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek-like character, the two sisters openly acknowledge their love for each other. Caroline Brew, Variety, 4 Nov. 2023 Rather than indulge this charade, the White House and Congress should issue an ultimatum to Qatar: Shut down all support for Hamas and deliver the hostages, or suffer the consequences. Richard Goldberg, WSJ, 31 Oct. 2023 These incongruities remind you that the company’s games are just one big Truman Show, a mechanical charade populated by automatons. Will Bedingfield, WIRED, 8 Sep. 2023 The charade has cost the city tens of millions of dollars in legal fees and other expenses. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 But having taken my kids to pick-your-own-strawberry fields, many of which employ seasonal workers from Mexico and Jamaica under an exploitative national labour program, the idea of treating field work as recreation feels more like the charade. Hazlitt, 6 Sep. 2023 The practice of brownface—a close cousin of yellowface that involved a white actor darkening their skin through mounds of makeup to cosplay as South Asian—was a routine charade for many white actors. Hazlitt, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'charade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of charade was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near charade

Cite this Entry

“Charade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


cha·​rade shə-ˈrād How to pronounce charade (audio)
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
: an act that is meaningless or is meant to deceive

More from Merriam-Webster on charade

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