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 formsdumb-show, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dumb show

Historical Examples of dumb show

  • The play is in dumb-show, and no character is permitted to speak on the stage.

  • The noise and rumor of the crowded pavements were to me but dumb-show.

    The Three Impostors

    Arthur Machen

  • Kostran will deliver his speech in dumb-show, and we'll dub the sound in and telecast them as one.

    Time Crime

    H. Beam Piper

  • This dumb-show could not fail to attract the observation of Content.

    The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • It is as much as to say: 'Here you have all dumb-show talking.'

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