[kah-boo-kee, kuh-, kah-boo-kee]
popular drama of Japan, developed chiefly in the 17th century, characterized by elaborate costuming, rhythmic dialogue, stylized acting, music, and dancing, and the performance of both male and female roles by male actors. Compare .
(initial capital letter) . Also called Grand Kabuki. public performances of this type of drama.

1895–1900; < Japanese: orig., as v., to act dissolutely; usually written with phonograms that carry the meanings “song-dance-skill”

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World English Dictionary
kabuki (kæˈbuːkɪ)
See also No a form of Japanese drama based on popular legends and characterized by elaborate costumes, stylized acting, and the use of male actors for all roles
[Japanese, from ka singing + bu dancing + ki art]

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

1899, from Japanese, popular theater (as opposed to shadow puppet-plays or lyrical Noh dramas), lit. "art of song and dance," from ka "song" + bu "dance" + ki "art." Alternative etymology (in Webster's) is from nominal form of kabuku "to be divergent, to deviate," from early opinion of this form of drama.
Since c.1650, all parts are played by males.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But the diplomatic furor that resulted has been all kabuki.
There students and a research team of gifted and innovative teachers could explore everything from the art of clowning to kabuki.
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