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

Example Sentences

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 To be clear, Republicans have known for a long time that the party’s embrace of the lie that Trump somehow cheated in the 2020 election was a charade. Christopher Beem, CNN, 15 Nov. 2022 But the simplicity and objectivity that originalism promises are a charade. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, 9 Nov. 2022 Hadid certainly looked fabulous, and clearly sold the idea to many; the whole charade left me convinced of only one thing, which is that Bella Hadid is a true supermodel. Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 Oct. 2022 Ducky, of course, knows about these secret plans but goes along with the charade. Sara Netzley,, 4 Oct. 2022 Steve Kelly, an attorney representing the Lee family, said the process was rushed — the hearing Monday was announced on the afternoon of the Friday before — and the court proceeding seemed like a charade. Lea Skene, Baltimore Sun, 25 Sep. 2022 What was the purpose of the charade behind the QB battle? oregonlive, 2 Sep. 2022 But the entire event was a charade set up to honor him by surprise — beginning with video testimonials, a procession through confetti cannons and a tunnel of students with arms stretched overhead. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2022 Or, even, that some kind of nepotism is being disguised with this whole charade. Andy Meek, BGR, 8 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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 9 Dec. 2022.

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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