an artistic composition, especially literary or dramatic, that, for the sake of laughter, vulgarizes lofty material or treats ordinary material with mock dignity.
any ludicrous parody or grotesque caricature.
Also, burlesk. a humorous and provocative stage show featuring slapstick humor, comic skits, bawdy songs, striptease acts, and a scantily clad female chorus.
involving ludicrous or mocking treatment of a solemn subject.
of, pertaining to, or like stage-show burlesque.
verb (used with object), burlesqued, burlesquing.
to make ridiculous by mocking representation.
verb (used without object), burlesqued, burlesquing.
to use caricature.

1650–60; < French < Italian burlesco, equivalent to burl(a) jest (perhaps < Spanish; cf. burladero) + -esco -esque

burlesquely, adverb
burlesquer, noun
preburlesque, adjective
unburlesqued, adjective

burlesque, caricature, cartoon, parody, satire (see synonym study at the current entry)(see synonym study at satire).

1. satire, lampoon, farce. Burlesque, caricature, parody, travesty refer to the literary or dramatic forms that imitate serious works or subjects to achieve a humorous or satiric purpose. The characteristic device of burlesque is mockery of both high and low through association with their opposites: a burlesque of high and low life. Caricature usually associated with visual arts or with visual effects in literary works, implies exaggeration of characteristic details: The caricature emphasized his nose. Parody achieves its humor through application of the manner or technique, usually of a well-known writer, to unaccustomed subjects: a parody by Swift. Travesty implies a grotesque form of burlesque: characters so changed as to produce a travesty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
burlesque (bɜːˈlɛsk)
1.  an artistic work, esp literary or dramatic, satirizing a subject by caricaturing it
2.  a ludicrous imitation or caricature
3.  a play of the 17th--19th centuries that parodied some contemporary dramatic fashion or event
4.  (US), (Canadian) theatre Also: burlesk, Slang name: burleycue a bawdy comedy show of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: the striptease eventually became one of its chief elements
5.  of, relating to, or characteristic of a burlesque
vb , -lesques, -lesquing, -lesqued
6.  to represent or imitate (a person or thing) in a ludicrous way; caricature
[C17: from French, from Italian burlesco, from burla a jest, piece of nonsense]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1660s, "derisive imitation, grotesque parody," from Fr. burlesque (16c.), from It. burlesco, from burla "joke, fun, mockery," possibly ultimately from L.L. burra "trifle, nonsense," lit. "flock of wool." Modern sense of "variety show featuring striptease" is Amer.Eng., 1870. Originally (1857) "the sketches
at the end of minstrel shows." As a verb, from 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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