an elaborate public spectacle illustrative of the history of a place, institution, or the like, often given in dramatic form or as a procession of colorful floats.
a costumed procession, masque, allegorical tableau, or the like forming part of public or social festivities.
a show or exhibition, especially one consisting of a succession of participants or events: a beauty pageant.
something comparable to a procession in colorful variety, splendor, or grandeur: the pageant of Renaissance history.
a pretentious display or show that conceals a lack of real importance or meaning.
(in medieval times) a platform or stage, usually moving on wheels, on which scenes from mystery plays were presented.
display or pageantry.
Obsolete. a stage bearing any kind of spectacle.

1350–1400; Middle English pagyn, pagaunt, pagand < Anglo-Latin pāgina a stage for plays, scene, platform, perhaps special use of Latin pāgina page1

pageanteer, noun
pageantic [puh-jan-tik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pageant (ˈpædʒənt)
1.  an elaborate colourful parade or display portraying scenes from history, esp one involving rich costume
2.  any magnificent or showy display, procession, etc
[C14: from Medieval Latin pāgina scene of a play, from Latin: page1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "play in a cycle of mystery plays," from M.L. pagina, perhaps from L. pagina "page of a book" (see page (1)) on notion of "manuscript" of a play. But an early sense in M.E. also was "stage or scene of a play" (late 14c.) and Klein says a sense of L. pagina was "moveable
scaffold" (probably from the etymological sense of "stake"). With excrescent -t as in ancient (q.v.). Generalized sense of "showy parade, spectacle" is first attested 1805, though this notion is found in pageantry (1650s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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