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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dumb show
Historical Examples
  • The band played in dumb show; it could not hear itself play.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • She had passed the rope around her neck and was hanging herself in dumb show.

  • Razumov tried hard to understand the reason of this dumb show.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • The Count gave me the dumb show of pulling out his watch, detaching it.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • Such commands as he had given them had been in dumb show, as to driven creatures.

    Trail's End

    George W. Ogden
  • As noise was precluded there was nothing left for her but this dumb show.

    The Faith Doctor Edward Eggleston
  • And in dumb show the little man counted money with his hands.

    An Eagle Flight Jos Rizal
  • The Countess quite understood the dumb show, but she made no sign.

    A Forgotten Hero Emily Sarah Holt
  • The old man signified to him in dumb show that he was to say no more.

    The Day of Wrath Maurus Jkai
  • Ah, it is all very well to make that dumb show; but do you really love me?

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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