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[pan-tuh-mahym] /ˈpæn təˌmaɪm/
the art or technique of conveying emotions, actions, feelings, etc., by gestures without speech.
a play or entertainment in which the performers express themselves mutely by gestures, often to the accompaniment of music.
significant gesture without speech.
an actor in dumb show, as in ancient Rome.
Also called Christmas pantomime. a form of theatrical spectacle common in England during the Christmas season, generally adapted from a fairy tale and including stock character types who perform songs and dances, tell jokes, etc.
verb (used with object), pantomimed, pantomiming.
to represent or express in pantomime.
verb (used without object), pantomimed, pantomiming.
to express oneself in pantomime.
Origin of pantomime
1580-90; earlier pantomimus < Latin < Greek pantómīmos. See panto-, mime
Related forms
[pan-tuh-mim-ik] /ˌpæn təˈmɪm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
pantomimical, adjective
pantomimically, adverb
pantomimicry, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pantomimed
Historical Examples
  • Here Mr. Dempsey pantomimed the action of tossing off a dram.

  • Smith shook his head and pantomimed Handy to survey his get-up.

    A Pirate of Parts Richard Neville
  • Miss Levering turned and pantomimed to Ernestine, 'You see it's no use!'

    The Convert

    Elizabeth Robins
  • The clown, drawing from the wide pantaloons a dollar, pantomimed to Bud.

    The Court of Boyville

    William Allen White
  • The guide was pantomimed by our fat man for a conservative pace becoming the hot morning and the difficult route.

  • The maid, a thin-lipped young woman with a jutting jaw and an implacable eye, pantomimed her annoyance.

    The Eddy Clarence L. Cullen
  • Sometimes he turned and pantomimed as ably and fiercely as a man being stung by a thousand hornets.

    Wounds in the rain Stephen Crane
  • The big lunk made a grab at the girl, and I whipped out my skean and pantomimed.

    The Door Through Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Earnestly we pantomimed stretcher beds—our own stretcher beds—and reposeful slumber thereon.

  • We were awakened from our siesta by the spherical maid who mouthed and pantomimed that a Seor was waiting for us in the hall.

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon
British Dictionary definitions for pantomimed


(in Britain)
  1. a kind of play performed at Christmas time characterized by farce, music, lavish sets, stock roles, and topical jokes Sometimes shortened to panto
  2. (as modifier): a pantomime horse
a theatrical entertainment in which words are replaced by gestures and bodily actions
action without words as a means of expression
(in ancient Rome) an actor in a dumb show
(informal, mainly Brit) a confused or farcical situation
another word for mime (sense 5)
Derived Forms
pantomimic (ˌpæntəˈmɪmɪk) adjective
pantomimist (ˈpæntəˌmaɪmɪst) noun
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek pantomīmos; see panto-, 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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Word Origin and History for pantomimed



1610s, "mime actor," from Latin pantomimus "mime, dancer," from Greek pantomimos "actor," literally "imitator of all," from panto- (genitive of pan) "all" (see pan-) + mimos "imitator" (see mime (n.)).

Meaning "drama or play without words" first recorded 1735. The English dramatic performances so called, usually at Christmas and with words and songs and stock characters, are attested by this name from 1739; said to have originated c.1717. Related: Pantomimic; pantomimical.



1768, from pantomime (n.). Related: Pantomimed; pantomiming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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