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.
Cite This Source Link To pageanteer
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature