travesty

noun
trav·​es·​ty | \ ˈtra-və-stē How to pronounce travesty (audio) \
plural travesties

Definition of travesty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a debased, distorted, or grossly inferior imitation a travesty of justice
2 : a burlesque translation or literary or artistic imitation usually grotesquely incongruous in style, treatment, or subject matter

travesty

verb
travestied; travestying

Definition of travesty (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make a travesty of : parody

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for travesty

Noun

caricature, burlesque, parody, travesty mean a comic or grotesque imitation. caricature implies ludicrous exaggeration of the characteristic features of a subject. caricatures of politicians in cartoons burlesque implies mockery especially through giving a serious or lofty subject a frivolous treatment. a nightclub burlesque of a trial in court parody applies especially to treatment of a trivial or ludicrous subject in the exactly imitated style of a well-known author or work. a witty parody of a popular novel travesty implies that the subject remains unchanged but that the style is extravagant or absurd. this production is a travesty of the opera

Examples of travesty in a Sentence

Noun It is a travesty and a tragedy that so many people would be denied the right to vote. The trial was a travesty of justice. Verb this comedy sketch mindlessly travesties the hard work of relief workers around the world
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The travesty reached across the southern border, too. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "Don’t read this story unless you want to learn about secrets being kept from us in the Texas electricity crisis," 29 Apr. 2021 As Katrina had been more than 15 years ago, the travesty in Texas is a shocking punctuation to the relentless attack on the notion of the public. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, "How Austerity Destroyed the Public Good," 27 Apr. 2021 The film looks at the travesty of a trial against the men who staged a Vietnam War protest at the 1968 Democratic Convention, which descended into a riot. Lisa Rosen, Los Angeles Times, "The best clues as to what will take Oscar’s best picture come from the past," 7 Apr. 2021 To overturn their verdict based on a selective, self-interested collection of dubious ballots would be a partisan travesty, which is exactly why Rita Hart is asking the partisan Democratic House to do it. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Stop the Steal, for Real This Time," 26 Mar. 2021 Although Twombly becomes more popular every year, for many people, his work is just indulgent scribble, a travesty of painting. Washington Post, "Yes, your kid could (probably) do this," 31 Mar. 2021 What a travesty that Howard Schnellenberger, the father of Miami Hurricanes football who passed away a few days ago, is not eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame but former UM coach Dennis Erickson is. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "Rebranding Magic’s massive rebuild: It’s a ‘Roster Renaissance’ | Commentary," 31 Mar. 2021 Right there out in the open, not even trying to hide the travesty. Sterling Holywhitemountain, The New Yorker, "Featherweight," 29 Mar. 2021 To charge a father, after an accidental drowning in a neighbor’s swimming pool, is an anomaly if not an outright travesty of justice. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Father charged in 2-year-old Hueytown boy’s 2019 drowning death," 20 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Readers may be tempted to side at one moment with the defenders of Jewish caution and Jewish sentiment, however their instincts are travestied, and soon afterward with Zuckerman’s principled view of the autonomy of art. Cynthia Ozick, WSJ, "Appreciation: Philip Roth," 25 May 2018 Are miracle and faith being slyly travestied, or is this just another example of the going secular self-help usage? Elaine Blair, New York Times, "Mother of All Decisions: Sheila Heti’s New Novel Weighs Whether to Have a Child," 18 May 2018

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

Noun

circa 1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for travesty

Noun

obsolete English travesty disguised, parodied, from French travesti, past participle of travestir to disguise, from Italian travestire, from tra- across (from Latin trans-) + vestire to dress, from Latin — more at vest entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about travesty

Time Traveler for travesty

Time Traveler

The first known use of travesty was in 1667

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about travesty

Statistics for travesty

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Travesty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/travesty. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for travesty

travesty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of travesty

: something that is shocking, upsetting, or ridiculous because it is not what it is supposed to be

Comments on travesty

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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