9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[paj-uh nt] /ˈpædʒ ənt/
an elaborate public spectacle illustrative of the history of a place, institution, or the like, often given in dramatic form or as a procession of colorful floats.
a costumed procession, masque, allegorical tableau, or the like forming part of public or social festivities.
a show or exhibition, especially one consisting of a succession of participants or events:
a beauty pageant.
something comparable to a procession in colorful variety, splendor, or grandeur:
the pageant of Renaissance history.
a pretentious display or show that conceals a lack of real importance or meaning.
(in medieval times) a platform or stage, usually moving on wheels, on which scenes from mystery plays were presented.
display or pageantry.
Obsolete. a stage bearing any kind of spectacle.
Origin of pageant
1350-1400; Middle English pagyn, pagaunt, pagand < Anglo-Latin pāgina a stage for plays, scene, platform, perhaps special use of Latin pāgina page1
Related forms
pageanteer, noun
[puh-jan-tik] /pəˈdʒæn tɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pageant
  • The photographs have not been made public and pageant officials acknowledge they do not know if they even exist.
  • Whatever else carnival may be, it is above all a pageant and no time for tears.
  • Originally a camel trading event, the mela has grown to include cultural events and even a camel beauty pageant.
  • Locals crammed the hilltops surrounding the city's packed amphitheatre, to watch the dancing and the beauty pageant.
  • Her friends are also overly obsessed with a debutante pageant.
  • The round-up includes guided snake hunts, a pageant and dances at night.
  • Biogeography, for instance, offered a great pageant of peculiar facts and patterns.
  • No one should read too much into the beauty pageant that is the primary season, especially this early in the season.
  • Mink-collared grandmothers are settled in firmly, ready to enjoy the pageant.
  • Rich woodlands, emerald pastures and the shimmering waters of the lake below added to a pageant of loveliness.
British Dictionary definitions for pageant


an elaborate colourful parade or display portraying scenes from history, esp one involving rich costume
any magnificent or showy display, procession, etc
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin pāgina scene of a play, from Latin: page1
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pageant

late 14c., "play in a cycle of mystery plays," from Medieval Latin pagina, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin pagina "page of a book" (see page (n.1)) on notion of "manuscript" of a play.

But an early sense in Middle English also was "stage or scene of a play" (late 14c.) and Klein says a sense of Latin pagina was "movable scaffold" (probably from the etymological sense of "stake"). With excrescent -t as in ancient (adj.). Generalized sense of "showy parade, spectacle" is first attested 1805, though this notion is found in pageantry (1650s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pageant

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pageant

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with pageant