commedia dell'arte

[kuh-mey-dee-uh del-ahr-tee; Italian kawm-me-dyah del-lahr-te]
noun, plural commedia dell'artes, commedias dell'arte Italian, commedie dell'arte [kawm-me-dye del-lahr-te] .
Italian popular comedy, developed chiefly during the 16th–18th centuries, in which masked entertainers improvised from a plot outline based on themes associated with stock characters and situations.

1875–80; < Italian: literally, comedy of art Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
commedia dell'arte (Italian kɔmˈmeːdia delˈlarte)
a form of popular comedy developed in Italy during the 16th to 18th centuries, with stock characters such as Punchinello, Harlequin, and Columbine, in situations improvised from a plot outline
[Italian, literally: comedy of art]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

commedia dell'arte
1877, from It., lit. "comedy of art."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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