masques

masque

[mask, mahsk]
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:
1505–15; < Middle French; see mask

mask, masque, mosque.
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World English Dictionary
masque or mask (mɑːsk)
 
n
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
 
[C16: variant of mask]
 
mask or mask
 
n
 
[C16: variant of mask]

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

masque
"masquerade, masked ball," 1514, from M.Fr. masque (see mask). Originally the same word, it developed a special sense of "amateur theatrical performance" (1562) 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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