[hahr-luh-kwi-neyd, -ki-]
a pantomime, farce, or similar play in which Harlequin plays the principal part.

1770–80; < French arlequinade. See harlequin, -ade1

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World English Dictionary
harlequinade (ˌhɑːlɪkwɪˈneɪd)
1.  (sometimes capital) theatre a play or part of a pantomime in which harlequin has a leading role
2.  buffoonery

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica


play or scene, usually in pantomime, in which Harlequin, a male character, has the principal role. Derived from the Italian commedia dell'arte, harlequinades came into vogue in early 18th-century England, with a standard plot consisting of a pursuit of the lovers Harlequin and Columbine by the latter's father, Pantaloon, and his bumpkin servant Pedrolino. In the Victorian era the harlequinade was reduced to a plotless epilogue to the main pantomime, which was often a dramatized fairy tale.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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