pag·​eant·​ry | \ ˈpa-jən-trē \

Definition of pageantry

1 : pageants and the presentation of pageants
2 : colorful, rich, or splendid display : spectacle
3 : mere show : empty display

Examples of pageantry in a Sentence

I like the tradition and pageantry that come with graduations.

Recent Examples on the Web

The papal trip to the UAE, which began Sunday evening and ended after Tuesday’s Mass, was infused with symbolism, state pageantry and calls for peace. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Pope caps visit to Arabian Peninsula with historic Mass," 5 Feb. 2019 For a cool 360-degree video of the pageantry a few years ago, watch the below: The Balcony Appearance A key part of the Trooping the Colour tradition is the royal family's balcony appearance. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "What Is Trooping the Colour, Anyway?," 6 June 2018 Mayor Allan Pomeroy opened the viaduct to traffic on April 4, 1953, in full pomp and pageantry. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 The battle metaphors are hackneyed, but the league has associated itself with the military in myriad ways, from accepting money for military flyovers to the pageantry of its national anthem. John Branch, New York Times, "Why the N.F.L. and the N.B.A. Are So Far Apart on Social Justice Stances," 22 June 2018 This also allowed the pageantry of a quarterback competition to subsist throughout the summer and until the start of the season. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Quarterback Making Alabama Scarier Than Ever," 9 Oct. 2018 When your family is small and mostly local, the pomp and pageantry of a big Thanksgiving dinner can feel a little silly. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Where to Dine Out for a Traditional-ish Thanksgiving Meal in New York City," 14 Nov. 2018 The show, in this sense, is more like pageantry than a reflection of the real world (though even Miss America dropped its swimsuit competition this year). Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "What's Holding Victoria's Secret Back From Body Diversity on the Runway?," 9 Nov. 2018 Diplomacy-as-usual may be less entertaining than the past three months’ of anticipation and pageantry. Mira Rapp-hooper, Washington Post, "The Singapore summit’s three big takeaways," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pageantry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pageantry

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pageantry

Dictionary Entries near pageantry





page boy

page cord

page gauge

Statistics for pageantry

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pageantry

The first known use of pageantry was in 1609

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pageantry



English Language Learners Definition of pageantry

: the use of special clothing, traditions, and ceremonies as part of a special event or celebration

More from Merriam-Webster on pageantry

Spanish Central: Translation of pageantry

Nglish: Translation of pageantry for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pageantry

What made you want to look up pageantry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!