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masque

[mask, mahsk] /mæsk, mɑsk/
noun
1.
a form of aristocratic entertainment in England in the 16th and 17th centuries, originally consisting of pantomime and dancing but later including dialogue and song, presented in elaborate productions given by amateur and professional actors.
2.
a dramatic composition for such entertainment.
3.
a masquerade; masked ball; revel.
4.
mask (def 14).
Also, mask.
Origin
1505-1515
1505-15; < Middle French; see mask
Can be confused
mask, masque, mosque.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for masque
  • He plays with a frozen, expressionless masque which conveys none of his character's inner turmoil.
  • The second part was presented as a masque symbolizing the founding and growth of the state.
British Dictionary definitions for masque

masque

/mɑːsk/
noun
1.
a dramatic entertainment of the 16th to 17th centuries in England, consisting of pantomime, dancing, dialogue, and song, often performed at court
2.
the words and music written for a masque
3.
short for masquerade
Word Origin
C16: variant of mask
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for masque
n.

"masquerade, masked ball," 1510s, from Middle French masque; see mask (n.), with which it was originally identical. It developed a special sense of "amateur theatrical performance" (1560s) in Elizabethan times, when such entertainments (originally performed in masks) were popular among the nobility.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
19
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