• WordNet 3.6
    • n harlequinade acting like a clown or buffoon
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Harlequinade A play or part of a play in which the harlequin is conspicuous; the part of a harlequin.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n harlequinade A kind of pantomime; that part of a pantomime which follows the transformation of characters, and in which the harlequin and clown play the principal parts; hence, buffoonery; a fantastic procedure.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Harlequinade the portion of a pantomime in which the harlequin plays a chief part
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. arleguinade,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. harlequin, arlequin (It. arlecchino), prob. the same as O. Fr. Hellequin, a devil in medieval legend, perh. of Teut. origin.


In literature:

The next, he would repeat his first travesty in all its hideous harlequinade.
"The Works of Max Beerbohm" by Max Beerbohm
Prime ministers had succeeded each other like the clowns in a harlequinade.
"The Valley of Decision" by Edith Wharton
It's all damned harlequinade.
"The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete" by George Meredith
Young people must be at some harlequinade.
"Diana of the Crossways, Complete" by George Meredith
As to the dressing, it's a perfect trick of harlequinade, and she'll own it after a dose of Earlsfont.
"The Celt and Saxon, Complete" by George Meredith
I quite agree that harlequinades are rot.
"Fanny's First Play" by George Bernard Shaw
At the end of the harlequinade he sank down on one knee and kissed her hand.
"The History of Pendennis" by William Makepeace Thackeray
The case of farce, and its wilder embodiment in harlequinade, is especially important.
"The Defendant" by G.K. Chesterton
Possibly the shop scenes in our English Harlequinades may have originated from this.
"A History of Pantomime" by R. J. Broadbent
And now about the Harlequinade.
"Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 102, Jan. 9, 1892" by Various