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90s Slang You Should Know

dumb show

a part of a dramatic representation given in pantomime, common in early English drama.
gestures without speech.
Origin of dumb show
First recorded in 1555-65
Related forms
dumb-show, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dumb show
Historical Examples
  • Razumov tried hard to understand the reason of this dumb show.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • The Countess quite understood the dumb show, but she made no sign.

    A Forgotten Hero Emily Sarah Holt
  • A ceremony followed, in dumb show, in which it was easy to recognise the pantomime of a marriage.

    Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
  • She had passed the rope around her neck and was hanging herself in dumb show.

  • The band played in dumb show; it could not hear itself play.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • The popular belief is, that they mostly appear in dumb show.

  • Sir John Bull would neither acknowledge nor deny the signature, but in dumb show made signs of innocence.

  • When Dodo did not feel equal to shouting back, she spoke in dumb show.

    Dodo's Daughter E. F. Benson
  • And so saying, the knight filled himself a horn of canary, and pledged his ward in dumb show.

    The Black Arrow Robert Louis Stevenson
  • So far this scene of reconciliation has been as a dumb show.

British Dictionary definitions for dumb show

dumb show

a part of a play acted in pantomime, popular in early English drama
meaningful gestures; mime
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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