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

Rather than potentially hasten Nai Nai's death with bad news, Billi's family orchestrates a shotgun wedding for Billi’s cousin, an elaborate charade to bring everyone together for one last gathering with Nai Nai. Dallas News, "I'm not alone in my strange hunger: How 'The Farewell' reflects food and the Chinese-American family," 9 Aug. 2019 This wordless tune will interrupt a game of charades, one in which Elsa awkwardly stumbles. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, "‘Frozen 2' new footage revealed. It’s dazzling," 24 Aug. 2019 Your car might whistle or screech, thump or groan, or decide to engage you in a game of charades with a performative shimmy. Mac Demere, Popular Mechanics, "11 Things Your Car Is Trying to Tell You," 2 Aug. 2019 Jennifer starts getting suspicious—as does a detective—and Russell does everything in his power to keep his charade going. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Secret Obsession Is an Even Creepier Version of You—So Get Ready," 18 July 2019 Modern Supreme Court confirmation hearings are the most glaring examples of the charade of Capitol Hill hearings. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Please Don’t Blow the Mueller Hearings," 23 July 2019 How about when he was kidnapped by a Spanish torturer who doesn't speak English and engaged in an elaborate game of charades to communicate? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Rumor has it there’s a cunning plan to bring back Blackadder for fifth season," 1 July 2019 The whole charade was aimed at justifying Trump’s decision to call off a retaliation airstrike against Iran. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Trump Congratulates Himself On Stopping War He Almost Started," 21 June 2019 His civility and gentleness weren’t charades paraded for the public moment. WSJ, "Rest in Peace, George Herbert Walker Bush," 5 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for charade

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for charade

The first known use of charade was in 1776

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with charade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for charade

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

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