vaudeville

[vawd-vil, vohd-, vaw-duh-]
noun
1.
theatrical entertainment consisting of a number of individual performances, acts, or mixed numbers, as by comedians, singers, dancers, acrobats, and magicians. Compare variety ( def 9 ).
2.
a theatrical piece of light or amusing character, interspersed with songs and dances.
3.
a satirical cabaret song.

Origin:
1730–40; < French, shortened alteration of Middle French chanson du vau de Vire song of the vale1 of Vire, a valley of Calvados, France, noted for satirical folksongs

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World English Dictionary
vaudeville (ˈvəʊdəvɪl, ˈvɔː-)
 
n
1.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) Brit name: music hall variety entertainment consisting of short acts such as acrobatic turns, song-and-dance routines, animal acts, etc, popular esp in the early 20th century
2.  a light or comic theatrical piece interspersed with songs and dances
 
[C18: from French, from vaudevire satirical folk song, shortened from chanson du vau de Vire song of the valley of Vire, a district in Normandy where this type of song flourished]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

vaudeville
1739, "light, popular song," especially one sung on the stage, from Fr. vaudeville, alteration (by influence of ville "town") of M.Fr. vaudevire, said to be from (chanson du) Vau de Vire "(song of the) valley of Vire," in the Calvados region of Normandy, first applied to the popular satirical songs of
Olivier Basselin, a 15c. poet who lived in Vire. The other alternative is that vaudevire derives from M.Fr. dialectal vauder "to go" + virer "to turn." The meaning "theatrical entertainment interspersed with songs" first recorded 1827. Vaudevillian (n.) is attested from 1913.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
vaudeville [(vawd-vuhl, vaw-duh-vil)]

Light theatrical entertainment, popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, consisting of a succession of short acts. A vaudeville show usually included comedians, singers, dancers, jugglers, trained animals, magicians, and the like.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
These performances consist of vaudeville-style entertainment.
Later, the vaudeville duo beat each other with rubber chickens and dueled with oversize boxing gloves.
And yes, even vaudeville stars and politicians have been known to lie.
Macy has no skill in vaudeville tricks to call attention to himself: no shafts
  of limelight have followed him across the stage.
Synonyms
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