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commedia dell'arte

[kuh-mey-dee-uh del-ahr-tee; Italian kawm-me-dyah del-lahr-te]
noun, plural com·me·di·a dell'ar·tes, com·me·di·as dell'ar·te, Italian com·me·die dell'ar·te [kawm-me-dye del-lahr-te] /kɔmˈmɛ dyɛ dɛlˈlɑr tɛ/.
  1. Italian popular comedy, developed chiefly during the 16th–18th centuries, in which masked entertainers improvised from a plot outline based on themes associated with stock characters and situations.
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Origin of commedia dell'arte

1875–80; < Italian: literally, comedy of art
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for commedia dell'arte

commedia dell'arte

noun
  1. a form of popular comedy developed in Italy during the 16th to 18th centuries, with stock characters such as Punchinello, Harlequin, and Columbine, in situations improvised from a plot outline
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Word Origin for commedia dell'arte

Italian, literally: comedy of art
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

Word Origin and History for commedia dell'arte

n.

1877, Italian, literally "comedy of art;" see comedy + art (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper