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charade

[shuh-reyd; especially British shuh-rahd] /ʃəˈreɪd; especially British ʃəˈrɑd/
noun
1.
charades, (used with a singular verb) a game in which the players are typically divided into two teams, members of which take turns at acting out in pantomime a word, phrase, title, etc., which the members of their own team must guess.
2.
a word or phrase acted out in this game.
3.
a blatant pretense or deception, especially something so full of pretense as to be a travesty.
Origin
1770-1780
1770-80; < French < Provençal charrad(o) entertainment, equivalent to charr(á) to chat, chatter (from imitative root) + -ado -ade1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for charade
  • charade is not even a word deserving of a connection to this house and this collection.
  • Amid all the sensationalism, few voices have denounced the charade of family unity for electoral ends.
  • Both countries have to stop the charade that misinforms their own people about what they are doing and why.
  • Our local community college should be shut down tomorrow so no more money is wasted on the charade.
  • There was, however, a problem: it was all a charade.
  • Whether his appearance qualifies as a thin charade or an awkward obligation is unclear.
  • And it is either a game changer or the biggest charade in the history of economics.
  • So an extended living room serves as a place to enjoy the sun and rain privately without the charade of the wilderness.
  • But the move must be recognized for the cynical charade it is.
  • In other words, our pose of idiosyncratic uniqueness was a big charade.
British Dictionary definitions for charade

charade

/ʃəˈrɑːd/
noun
1.
an episode or act in the game of charades
2.
(mainly Brit) an absurd act; travesty
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
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Word Origin and History for charade
charade
1776, from Fr. charade, from Prov. charrada "long talk, chatter," of obscure origin, perhaps from charrar "to chatter, gossip," of echoic origin. Originally not silent, merely relying on enigmatic descriptions of the words or syllables; the silent form was dumb charades. Welsh siarad obviously is a loan-word from Fr. or Eng., but its meaning of "speak, a talk" is closer to the Prov. original.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for charade

originally a kind of riddle, probably invented in France during the 18th century, in which a word or phrase is divined by guessing and combining its different syllables, each of which is described independently by the giver of the charade. Charades may be given in prose or verse. The following is an example of a poetic charade:My first is a Tartar,My second a letter;My all is a country,No Christmas dish better.

Learn more about charade with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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