[ pan-tuh-mahym ]
See synonyms for: pantomimepantomimedpantomiming on

  1. the art or technique of conveying emotions, actions, feelings, etc., by gestures without speech.

  2. a play or entertainment in which the performers express themselves mutely by gestures, often to the accompaniment of music.

  1. significant gesture without speech.

  2. an actor in dumb show, as in ancient Rome.

  3. 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),pan·to·mimed, pan·to·mim·ing.
  1. to represent or express in pantomime.

verb (used without object),pan·to·mimed, pan·to·mim·ing.
  1. to express oneself in pantomime.

Origin of pantomime

1580–90; earlier pantomimus<Latin <Greek pantómīmos.See panto-, mime

Other words from pantomime

  • pan·to·mim·ic [pan-tuh-mim-ik], /ˌpæn təˈmɪm ɪk/, pan·to·mim·i·cal, adjective
  • pan·to·mim·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • pan·to·mim·ic·ry, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pantomime in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pantomime


/ (ˈpæntəˌmaɪm) /

  1. (in Britain)

    • a kind of play performed at Christmas time characterized by farce, music, lavish sets, stock roles, and topical jokes: Sometimes shortened to: panto

    • (as modifier): a pantomime horse

  2. a theatrical entertainment in which words are replaced by gestures and bodily actions

  1. action without words as a means of expression

  2. (in ancient Rome) an actor in a dumb show

  3. informal, mainly British a confused or farcical situation

  1. another word for mime (def. 5)

Origin of pantomime

C17: via Latin from Greek pantomīmos; see panto-, mime

Derived forms of pantomime

  • pantomimic (ˌpæntəˈmɪmɪk), adjective
  • pantomimist (ˈpæntəˌmaɪmɪst), noun

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