charade

[shuh-reyd; especially British shuh-rahd]
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:
1770–80; < French < Provençal charrad(o) entertainment, equivalent to charr(á) to chat, chatter (from imitative root) + -ado -ade1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
charade (ʃəˈrɑːd)
 
n
1.  an episode or act in the game of charades
2.  chiefly (Brit) an absurd act; travesty

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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 Britannica
Encyclopedia

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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