- an elaborate public spectacle illustrative of the history of a place, institution, or the like, often given in dramatic form or as a procession of colorful floats.
- a costumed procession, masque, allegorical tableau, or the like forming part of public or social festivities.
- a show or exhibition, especially one consisting of a succession of participants or events: a beauty pageant.
- something comparable to a procession in colorful variety, splendor, or grandeur: the pageant of Renaissance history.
- a pretentious display or show that conceals a lack of real importance or meaning.
- (in medieval times) a platform or stage, usually moving on wheels, on which scenes from mystery plays were presented.
- display or pageantry.
- Obsolete. a stage bearing any kind of spectacle.
Origin of pageant
Examples from the Web for pageant
Myerson herself appears to have bought into that stigma, offering mixed to negative views on the Miss America pageant.
In 1995, Myerson made a point not to attend the 75th anniversary of the Miss America pageant.
She reluctantly agreed to make her grams happy, and participated in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, placing in the top 15.The Making of Kiesza: From Navy Sharpshooter to Beauty Queen to Pop Diva
October 20, 2014
Reform first came in 1935 when Lenora Slaughter was hired to re-invent the pageant as its new director.There She Is! Deport the Miss America Pageant.
October 6, 2014
The pageant came back to Atlantic City and, appropriately, took a big gamble.The Real Housewives of Miss America
September 21, 2014
As for to-day, the magnificence of the pageant beggars description.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
His own inner life was as vivid a pageant to him as the history of the Church.Browning's England
Helen Archibald Clarke
And this real—not a pageant—not as that thing you made of me before?Roland Cashel
Charles James Lever
Let us watch the pageant that crosses the bridge that Charles built.From a Terrace in Prague
Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker
Thursday, the twenty-first of January, 1535, was chosen for the pageant.The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2)
Henry Martyn Baird
- an elaborate colourful parade or display portraying scenes from history, esp one involving rich costume
- any magnificent or showy display, procession, etc
Word Origin and History for pageant
late 14c., "play in a cycle of mystery plays," from Medieval Latin pagina, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin pagina "page of a book" (see page (n.1)) on notion of "manuscript" of a play.
But an early sense in Middle English also was "stage or scene of a play" (late 14c.) and Klein says a sense of Latin pagina was "movable scaffold" (probably from the etymological sense of "stake"). With excrescent -t as in ancient (adj.). Generalized sense of "showy parade, spectacle" is first attested 1805, though this notion is found in pageantry (1650s).