pantomime

noun
pan·​to·​mime | \ ˈpan-tə-ˌmīm How to pronounce pantomime (audio) \

Definition of pantomime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : an ancient Roman dramatic performance featuring a solo dancer and a narrative chorus
b : any of various dramatic or dancing performances in which a story is told by expressive bodily or facial movements of the performers a ballet that is part dance and part pantomime
c : a British theatrical entertainment of the Christmas season based on a nursery tale and featuring topical songs, tableaux, and dances
3a : conveyance of a story by bodily or facial movements especially in drama or dance
b : the art or genre of conveying a story by bodily movements only

pantomime

verb
pantomimed; pantomiming

Definition of pantomime (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to engage in pantomime

transitive verb

: to represent by pantomime

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Other Words from pantomime

Noun

pantomimic \ ˌpan-​tə-​ˈmi-​mik How to pronounce pantomimic (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for pantomime

Synonyms: Noun

gesticulation, gesture, mime, sign, signal

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Examples of pantomime in a Sentence

Noun

In the game of charades, one player uses pantomime to represent a word or phrase that the other players have to try to guess. We saw pantomimes at the fair. a ballet that is part dance and part pantomime

Verb

He pantomimed someone talking on the phone.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Our Founding Fathers and the Statue of Liberty must have been weeping watching all this pantomime. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Trump’s Independence Day (7/6/19)," 7 July 2019 The production skillfully incorporates some footage of the old films; shadows cast by the actors on the walls were wonderful, somehow casting a bridge between pantomime and voice, then and now. cleveland.com, "The arts help us honor the past and envision the future: Sun Messages," 6 July 2019 The distraught scout spoke no English, and all the Army interpreters were out in the field, so Curly had to draw figures and pantomime to deliver his shocking message: Custer and all the men under his immediate command were wiped out. Patrick Springer / Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Along with Custer, a Pioneer Press contributor met his end 143 years ago at Battle of the Little Bighorn," 6 July 2019 Those pantomimes of concern for victims were transparently aimed at intimidating them and reducing the institution’s liability. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "Notes on Cancel Culture," 1 July 2019 Despite this match being for charity, the self-styled 'Special One' played up his pantomime villain role well. SI.com, "Soccer Aid 2019: The Best Moments From the Charity Match's History," 16 June 2019 In fact, Japan’s regulatory system, a vague administrative process, produced a pantomime and satire of financial institutions. WSJ, "China’s Market Meddling Will End Like Japan’s," 26 Dec. 2018 All his successful shows have been fables and fairy tales and pageants and pantomimes. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "Did Andrew Lloyd Webber Ruin the Musical or Rescue It?," 20 Feb. 2017 Neil Patrick Harris couldn’t be more in his element as the preening and venomous Count Olaf, who, with pantomime and eye-rolling disguises, torments the three Baudelaire orphans. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ and the N.C.A.A. Women’s Final Four," 30 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Morgan pantomimed sipping a cup of tea - a reference to Queen Elizabeth or to the Boston Tea Party? - after her goal. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "One more game for U.S. women, who will play for World Cup title," 2 July 2019 Jim Delaney, senior operations manager at the recycling center, pantomimed a gesture that reminded me of an umpire calling a batter out on strikes, complete with leg kick. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Does your county recycle wine bottles? The answer may surprise you," 14 June 2019 First, Wong clutches her face, knocking her red nerd glasses askew and pantomiming the feeling of a great gust of wind drying out her eyeballs. Vogue, "Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife," 11 May 2018 Thompson heard the team will be assigned an interpretor, but she's prepared to pantomime her way through the trip. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "The Seawolves had to make a lot of pot pies to pay their way to a basketball tournament in Taiwan," 28 June 2018 Crossing hands in front of himself to indicate handcuffs, Ahmed, 24, a spiky-haired Somali, pantomimed how German authorities sent him back — not once, but twice — to Italy. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Italy vows to expel far more migrants, but it won't be easy," 22 June 2018 For every new round with Paula, Plaza burns a hole into the deck with her intent gaze, only occasionally breaking her concentration to pantomime in my direction. Nojan Aminosharei, Marie Claire, "Aubrey Plaza Was Never April Ludgate," 13 June 2018 But cracks showed as the 81-year-old Berlusconi pantomimed as Salvini read political priorities from a statement, clearly not pleased to be on the sidelines. Washington Post, "Berlusconi at center of impasse on forming Italy’s new govt," 13 Apr. 2018 Ever the prankster, Jonathan could be seen pantomiming along with Calhoun’s non-verbal communications. Chris Brodeur, courant.com, "On Jim Calhoun's 76th Birthday, 7 Joyful Moments And 6 That Weren't So Joyful," 10 May 2018

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

Noun

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1768, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for pantomime

Noun and Verb

Latin pantomimus, from pant- + mimus mime

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Statistics for pantomime

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pantomime

The first known use of pantomime was in 1606

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More Definitions for pantomime

pantomime

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pantomime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a way of expressing information or telling a story without words by using body movements and facial expressions
: a performance in which a story is told without words by using body movements and facial expressions
British : a play for children performed during the Christmas season that is based on a fairy tale and includes singing and dancing

pantomime

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pantomime (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make the movements of someone who is doing something without actually doing it

pantomime

noun
pan·​to·​mime | \ ˈpan-tə-ˌmīm How to pronounce pantomime (audio) \

Kids Definition of pantomime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of showing or explaining something through movements of the body and face instead of by talking
2 : a show in which a story is told by using expressions on the face and movements of the body instead of words

pantomime

verb
pantomimed; pantomiming

Kids Definition of pantomime (Entry 2 of 2)

: to tell through movements rather than words

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More from Merriam-Webster on pantomime

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pantomime

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pantomime

Spanish Central: Translation of pantomime

Nglish: Translation of pantomime for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pantomime

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