- theatrical entertainment consisting of a number of individual performances, acts, or mixed numbers, as by comedians, singers, dancers, acrobats, and magicians.Compare variety(def 9).
- a theatrical piece of light or amusing character, interspersed with songs and dances.
- a satirical cabaret song.
Origin of vaudeville
Examples from the Web for vaudeville
Contemporary Examples of vaudeville
The odd (though beautiful) pair here is Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who were a hit on the vaudeville circuit.Fall Broadway Preview: 'This Is Our Youth,' Bradley Cooper as ‘The Elephant Man,' and More
September 11, 2014
Vaudeville was dead, Houdini was dead—he was off the radar.Get a Piece of Houdini Before He Disappears
August 22, 2014
His life as the child of a vaudeville couple was one-step above living in the circus—cheap hotels and rooming houses were home.Mickey Rooney Was Hollywood’s Golden Age Showman
April 7, 2014
The genial dialogue between Lovelace and her costar, Harry Reems, is like a vaudeville routine.Linda Lovelace and ‘Deep Throat’s’ 40-Year Legacy
April 25, 2012
Historical Examples of vaudeville
His brother was director of the Vaudeville in partnership with Raymond Deslandes.My Double Life
The Vaudeville, when it was opened, was devoted to all that was light and cheerful.
Tristan's vaudeville scheme was not as easily realized as said.
But on thinking it over, he decided like the vaudeville man.
I have seen the Arabs at the Vaudeville; they have magnificent beards.'Tales Of The Trains
Charles James Lever
- mainly US and Canadian variety entertainment consisting of short acts such as acrobatic turns, song-and-dance routines, animal acts, etc, popular esp in the early 20th centuryBrit name: music hall
- a light or comic theatrical piece interspersed with songs and dances
Word Origin for vaudeville
1739, "light, popular song," especially one sung on the stage, from French vaudeville, alteration (by influence of ville "town") of Middle French vaudevire, said to be from (chanson du) Vau de Vire "(song of the) valley of Vire," in the Calvados region of Normandy, first applied to the popular satirical songs of Olivier Basselin, a 15c. poet who lived in Vire.
The alternative explanation is that vaudevire derives from Middle French dialectal vauder "to go" + virer "to turn." The meaning "theatrical entertainment interspersed with songs" first recorded 1827.
Light theatrical entertainment, popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, consisting of a succession of short acts. A vaudeville show usually included comedians, singers, dancers, jugglers, trained animals, magicians, and the like.