com·​par·​sa | \ kəmˈpärsə \
plural -s

Definition of comparsa

1 : a folk dance and song of Afro-Cuban origin
2 : a masked company of street dancers in Cuban carnival processions

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History and Etymology for comparsa

American Spanish, from Spanish, group of revelers costumed alike, entire group of supernumeraries in a play, supernumerary in a play, from Italian, supernumerary in a play, appearance, from feminine of comparso, past participle of comparire to appear, from Latin comparēre, from Latin com- + parēre to be visible

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Cite this Entry

“Comparsa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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