pag·​eant ˈpa-jənt How to pronounce pageant (audio)
: a mere show : pretense
: an ostentatious display
: show, exhibition
especially : an elaborate colorful exhibition or spectacle often with music that consists of a series of tableaux, of a loosely unified drama, or of a procession usually with floats

Examples of pageant in a Sentence

They disagreed with the pageant judges. Their church puts on an annual Christmas pageant.
Recent Examples on the Web At the time, Johnson was a pageant competitor and model, who would go on to become Miss California USA in 2010, and even place in the top 10 of the Miss USA finals that same year. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 27 Nov. 2023 This year's Miss Universe pageant will feature two trans women for the first time: Miss Portugal Marina Machete and Miss Netherlands Rikkie Kollé. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 16 Oct. 2023 Like in the finance industry, there’s only a handful of Black faces in the pageant world. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 22 Sep. 2023 The island-wide celebration include concerts, parades, cultural activities, and pageants, while numerous fairs celebrate the best in local art and culture. Carley Rojas Avila, Travel + Leisure, 22 Sep. 2023 Shugart shared the news of her departure while on stage at Thursday night’s National Costume Show portion of the Miss Universe pageant. Michael Schneider, Variety, 17 Nov. 2023 While the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 steals the limelight in the early 911 pageant, its immediate successor is a car to be coveted as well. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 Nov. 2023 The book recounts her rise from pageant queen in the Philippines to a laudable career in fashion and advocacy in the United States. Raquel Willis, Glamour, 1 Nov. 2023 Friedman says the South in particular is still the land of pageants. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English pagyn, padgeant, literally, scene of a play, from Anglo-French pagine, pagent, from Medieval Latin pagina, perhaps from Latin, page

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of pageant was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pageant

Cite this Entry

“Pageant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pag·​eant ˈpaj-ənt How to pronounce pageant (audio)
: an impressive exhibition or spectacle
: an entertainment consisting of scenes based on history or legend

More from Merriam-Webster on pageant

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