pag·​eant | \ ˈpa-jənt How to pronounce pageant (audio) \

Definition of pageant

1a : a mere show : pretense
b : an ostentatious display
2 : 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

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Synonyms for pageant



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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

The soon-to-be 21-year-old will represent the country at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant in South Korea in late December — not too long after the upcoming USC volleyball season ends. Tom Hoffarth,, "Morning Briefing: USC’s Cindy Marina wears multiple hats, and one is a crown," 12 June 2019 The 62-year-old former pageant queen and actress has been flipping letters on the popular game show since 1982 — just one year less than co-host Pat Sajak. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Vanna White's Empire Goes Way Beyond Her 'Wheel of Fortune' Salary," 17 May 2019 His prose is a pageant of wonder, expressing plenitude, not poverty. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "An Ode to Holiday Companionship," 21 Dec. 2018 Six-year-old pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in the basement of her family's Colorado home on the morning of Dec. 26, 1996. Cosmopolitan, "There Are 5 Separate JonBenét Ramsey TV Projects Coming This Fall," 31 Aug. 2016 Photos showed 18-year-old pageant winner Taylor Hamlin holding a marijuana cigarette and a vaping device, organizers said. Patrick Whittle, The Seattle Times, "Threats, backlash after lobster pageant winner dethroned," 6 Aug. 2018 That brings us, inevitably, to Donald Trump, whose long history with the Miss Universe pageant, and of making disparaging comments about transgender individuals, loom large over our conversation. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Miss Universe Is Making History with the Pageant's First Openly Trans Contestant," 15 Dec. 2018 The pageant, trying to reinvent itself, had its share of viral moments, a couple of awkward moments and — as promised — no swimsuit competition. Emily Yahr, The Seattle Times, "Miss America 2019: The best, worst and weirdest moments from the swimsuit-free competition," 10 Sep. 2018 The first victim was a prominent forensic psychiatrist who had consulted in high-profile murder cases, including the 1996 killing of child beauty-pageant star JonBenét Ramsey. Washington Post, "Former White House physician investigated," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pageant.' 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 pageant

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

History and Etymology for pageant

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

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Dictionary Entries near pageant







page boy

Statistics for pageant

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for pageant

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

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English Language Learners Definition of pageant

: a play or performance made of scenes from a historical event or a legend


pag·​eant | \ ˈpa-jənt How to pronounce pageant (audio) \

Kids Definition of pageant

1 : a grand and fancy public ceremony and display
2 : an entertainment made up of scenes based on history or legend a Christmas pageant
3 : a contest in which a group of women or girls are judged a beauty pageant

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Spanish Central: Translation of pageant

Nglish: Translation of pageant for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about pageant

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