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 pageant, which normally takes place in the spring, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, "Miss USA Asya Branch wants to use her crown to fight for prison reform," 13 Nov. 2020 The Miss USA pageant, originally set for spring 2020, was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mary Colurso |, al, "Miss USA 2020: First Black woman from Mississippi is crowned," 10 Nov. 2020 Outstanding Teen pageant, her father passed away from larynx cancer. Hilary Levey Friedman, Glamour, "What It's Really Like to Run for Miss USA During a Pandemic," 9 Nov. 2020 The 69th edition of this long-running beauty pageant is held at the Exhibition Center and Soundstage at Graceland in Memphis. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Monday: ‘Industry’ on HBO," 8 Nov. 2020 The nation’s top pooch pageant will be held outdoors in 2021 at an estate about 25 miles north of Manhattan on June 12-13 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Westminster Kennel Club said Wednesday. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Westminster Dog Show, Surgeon General cited, Las Vegas casino to debut: News from around our 50 states," 23 Oct. 2020 The pandemic has led Indigenous pageant queens or tribal ambassadors like Parrish to redefine their duties. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Coronavirus is threatening their people but it hasn't held back these indigenous pageant queens," 9 Sep. 2020 The History Center is also sponsoring a virtual creepy doll cocktail party with live music and cocktail recipes on Halloween night and a creepy doll costume pageant. Richard Chin, Star Tribune, "Creepy doll contests: The spooky historical dolls terrifying Minnesotans this Halloween," 29 Oct. 2020 There doesn’t actually appear to be a Little Miss Evanston pageant, but perhaps that can be the subject of Netflix’s next movie. Tracy Swartz,, "Why is the new Netflix movie ‘Holidate’ set in Chicago? We love the holidays, screenwriter says," 26 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pageant

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

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Statistics for pageant

Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pageant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce pageant (audio)

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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