- an artistic composition, especially literary or dramatic, that, for the sake of laughter, vulgarizes lofty material or treats ordinary material with mock dignity.
- any ludicrous parody or grotesque caricature.
- Also bur·lesk. a humorous and provocative stage show featuring slapstick humor, comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad female chorus.
- involving ludicrous or mocking treatment of a solemn subject.
- of, relating to, or like stage-show burlesque.
- to make ridiculous by mocking representation.
- to use caricature.
Origin of burlesque
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for burlesque
Burlesque artists are often in it for the costumes, spending what they earn on fabric, feathers, and crystals.Best Career Arc Ever: From Burlesque To Bartending
September 13, 2014
“The nature of the burlesque scene in London is as diverse as burlesque itself,” said Howard Wilmot, creator of Boylexe/Burlexe.
Boylexe is a spin-off of a show about women in burlesque called Burlexe, which likewise mixes striptease, monologue, and song.
Here, another writer says the burlesque model has got it right.Dita Von Teese, My Breasts Are All Yours
August 8, 2014
He soon employs his new houseguest as a dancer in his burlesque theater and eventually pimps her out to select clients.Cannes Diary: James Gray’s ‘The Immigrant,’ Starring Marion Cotillard, Shines
May 25, 2013
Burlesque, farce and extravagance of situation and dialogue.
Burlesque of character and calling puts in an occasional appearance.
It might be called a burlesque, but for the fact that it is unaccompanied by the luxury of legs.
Deem not this collocation simply a burlesque on Scientific categories.Life: Its True Genesis
R. W. Wright
Nailed several anti-saloon and burlesque planks in his platform.Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date
- an artistic work, esp literary or dramatic, satirizing a subject by caricaturing it
- a ludicrous imitation or caricature
- a play of the 17th–19th centuries that parodied some contemporary dramatic fashion or event
- Also: burlesk US and Canadian theatre a bawdy comedy show of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: the striptease eventually became one of its chief elementsSlang name: burleycue
- of, relating to, or characteristic of a burlesque
- to represent or imitate (a person or thing) in a ludicrous way; caricature
Word Origin and History for burlesque
1660s, "derisive imitation, grotesque parody," from French burlesque (16c.), from Italian burlesco, from burla "joke, fun, mockery," possibly ultimately from Late Latin burra "trifle, nonsense," literally "flock of wool." Modern sense of "variety show featuring striptease" is American English, 1870. Originally (1857) "the sketches at the end of minstrel shows." As a verb, from 1670s.