Word of the Day : September 16, 2017

travesty

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noun TRAV-uh-stee

Definition

1 : a burlesque translation or literary or artistic imitation usually grotesquely incongruous in style, treatment, or subject matter

2 : a debased, distorted, or grossly inferior imitation

Examples

"What petty whims of a few higher-ups trampling the nation under their boots, ramming back down their throats the people's cries for truth and justice, with the travesty of state security as a pretext." — Émile Zola, letter, 13 Jan. 1898

"Fans of anime are ferociously purist and loyal, and for them, I suspect, the very notion of converting [Mamoru] Oshii's masterpiece (as it is deemed to be) into a live-action Hollywood remake smells of both travesty and sellout." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 10 Apr. 2017



Did You Know?

The noun travesty, which current evidence dates to the 17th century, comes from the French verb travestir, meaning "to disguise." The word's roots, however, wind back through Italian to the Latin verb vestire, meaning "to clothe" or "to dress." Travesty is not the only English descendent of vestire. Others include vestment, divest, and investiture. Travesty, incidentally, can also be a verb meaning "to make a travesty of" or "to parody."



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a word for a literary work marked by freedom of style and elements of burlesque: e _ _ ra _ _ g _ n _ a.

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