a musical or dramatic composition or production, as comic opera or musical comedy, marked by a loose structure, a frivolous theme, and elaborate costuming and staging.
any lavish or opulent show, event, assemblage, etc.: an extravaganza of new housewares on the twelfth floor.

1745–55; alteration of Italian (e)stravaganza extravagance

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To extravaganza
World English Dictionary
extravaganza (ɪkˌstrævəˈɡænzə)
1.  an elaborately staged and costumed light entertainment
2.  any lavish or fanciful display, literary or other composition, etc
[C18: from Italian: extravagance]

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

1754, with reference to peculiar behavior, 1794 of a fantastic type of performance or writing, from It. extravaganza, lit. an extravagance (see extravagant).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


a literary or musical work marked by extreme freedom of style and structure and usually by elements of burlesque or parody, such as Samuel Butler's Hudibras. The term extravaganza may also refer to an elaborate and spectacular theatrical production. The term once specifically referred to a type of 19th-century English drama made popular by J.R. Planche, a British playwright and antiquary who wrote fanciful portrayals of fairy tales and other poetic subjects based on similar French productions. Planche's productions included dancing and music and influenced such later writers as W.S. Gilbert

Learn more about extravaganza with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Best of all, this extravaganza of plants requires less than one-half the water
  the lawn needed.
Here's our roundup of the best tips and tricks for planning your next travel
The tasting menu, a multi-course extravaganza of wee portions.
The result was more art-house film than special-effects extravaganza.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature