• Harlequin’s Offensive
    Harlequin’s Offensive
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v harlequin variegate with spots or marks "His face was harlequined with patches"
    • n harlequin a clown or buffoon (after the Harlequin character in the commedia dell'arte)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Harlequin A buffoon, dressed in party-colored clothes, who plays tricks, often without speaking, to divert the bystanders or an audience; a merry-andrew; originally, a droll rogue of Italian comedy. "As dumb harlequin is exhibited in our theaters."
    • v. i Harlequin To play the droll; to make sport by playing ludicrous tricks.
    • v. t Harlequin To remove or conjure away, as by a harlequin's trick. "And kitten, if the humor hit
      Has harlequined away the fit."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n harlequin In early Italian and later in French comedy, the buffoon or clown, one of the regular character-types. He was noted for his gluttonous buffoonery, afterward modified by something of intriguing malice. On the modern stage he generally appears in pantomime as the lover of Columbine, masked, dressed in tight party-colored clothes covered with spangles, armed with a magic wand or wooden sword, and plays amusing tricks on the other performers.
    • n harlequin Hence A buffoon in general; a fantastic fellow; a droll.
    • n harlequin In entomology, the magpie-moth, Abraxas grossulariata.
    • n harlequin The Oriental or noble opal. Synonyms See jester.
    • harlequin Party-colored; extremely or fantastically variegated in color: specifically applied in zoölogy to sundry animals.
    • harlequin Differing in color or decoration; fancifully varied, as a set of dishes. See harlequin service, below.
    • harlequin To play the droll; make sport by playing ludicrous tricks.
    • harlequin To remove as if by a harlequin's trick; conjure away.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Harlequin här′le-kwin or -kin the leading character in a pantomime, the lover of Columbine, in a tight spangled dress, with a wand, by means of which he is supposed to be invisible and to play tricks: a buffoon
    • v.i Harlequin to play the harlequin
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. arlequin, formerly written also harlequin,cf. It, arlecchino,), prob. fr. OF. hierlekin, hellequin, goblin, elf, which is prob. of German or Dutch origin; cf. D. hel, hell. Cf. Hell Kin


In literature:

Mercy on me, what a frightful harlequin!
"The Wild Huntress" by Mayne Reid
The night before, he was out here on the lawn, jumping from bush to bush, for all the world like a harlequin.
"Anderson Crow, Detective" by George Barr McCutcheon
It reminded me of the entrance of a clown at a royal levee, or the appearance of harlequin in a tragedy.
"Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber" by James Aitken Wylie
Here is Harlequin's dress, lying in one of the wardrooms, but there is nobody to dance Harlequin's dances.
"If, Yes and Perhaps" by Edward Everett Hale
And here are Alexander and Zarius, Pyerhus and Merope, Mahomet, Harlequin, Scapin, Blaise and Babette.
"Our Children" by Anatole France
"A Tangled Tale" by Lewis Carroll
Harlequin performs a somewhat similar feat in one of the pantomimes.
"Leading Articles on Various Subjects" by Hugh Miller
She could not but laugh a little at Harlequin's undisguised discomfiture.
"Nobody" by Louis Joseph Vance
Something like "Harlequin as Electrician," or "Forget-me-not.
"The Lonely Way--Intermezzo--Countess Mizzie" by Arthur Schnitzler
The other dancers give way and the new-comers perform, in harlequin fashion, their allotted parts.
"Due South or Cuba Past and Present" by Maturin M. Ballou

In poetry:

He comes to town at Christmas-time,
And braves its icy breath,
To play in that favourite pantomime,
"At a Pantomime." by William Schwenck Gilbert
"Oh my," said he, with solemn frown,
"I tremble for each dancing FRATER,
Like unregenerated clown
And harlequin at some the-ayter."
"John and Freddy" by William Schwenck Gilbert
White artist he, who, breezeless nights,
From tingling stars jocosely whirls,
A harlequin in spangled tights,
His wand a pot of pounded pearls.
"Frost" by Madison Julius Cawein
The man in graver tragic known
(Though his best part long since was done)
Still on the stage desires to tarry,
And he who play'd the Harlequin,
After the jest still loads the scene,
Unwilling to retire though weary.
"Written In The Beginning Of Mezeray's History Of France" by Matthew Prior
We would hear the stallions whinny, and then the water splash -
That latter was our signal-through the deadwood with a crash
We were at them-you on joker, I on Harlequin, and Mick
Would be with us, just as eager as his jumper, Elsternwick.
"The Nights at Rocky Bar" by Harry Breaker Morant
The nights the brumbies tried to break straight back the way they came
Proved Harlequin as nimble as we knew him to he game;
In those rushing, frantic scrambles 'twas his cleverness I thank
That I didn't get a smasher down that rotten basalt bank.
"The Nights at Rocky Bar" by Harry Breaker Morant

In news:

Moving on to "The Studies," Irwin is joined by the full company -- including three young harlequins who dazzle the eye with their lithe acrobatic leaps and tumbles -- to show us the merry trickster at work.
Harlequin Baby's synth-fueled madness firmly plants them as one of Santa Cruz's most remarkable and original acts, even amid the town's diverse and rich resource of local musicians.
A harlequin duck , a species rarely seen in Utah, visited Antelope Island's causeway in September.
The eight performers look like jazz-age Harlequins in Isabel Toledo's white unitards studded with variously spaced black diamonds.
Harlequin's new offering by renowned playwright is a funny ride with a kick.
Kimani Tru, an imprint of Harlequin 2010.
Harlequin Historical, because unicorns are historical.
(from Woodbine report) Gold Strike, bred and owned by Harlequin Ranches, drew off in the stretch to take Sunday's $280,400 Selene Stakes (Can-III) for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine in impressive fashion.
With help from hearts, politicians, the Church and Harlequin romance, Poles embrace the holiday.
Xitron has announced new color proofing solutions for Epson Stylus Pro 4900, 7890, and 9890 printers to complement the company's Navigator Harlequin RIP and workflow.
'Sorry, Harlequin,' She Sighed Tenderly , 'I'm Reading Something Else'.
Harlequins Ball is topical , traditional.
Enlarge Daniel Erath DANIEL ERATH / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Harlequins Ball.
Bath fly-half Stephen Donald kicks all his side's points to inflict a third defeat of the season on leaders Harlequins.
What follows is a love story, but it might not sell to the Harlequin crowd.