charade

A charade is something done just for show. Your devotion to vegetarianism would be a charade if you actually ate cheeseburgers when no one was looking.

When you want things to appear different than they really are, you might be tempted to put on a charade, like a charade of happiness when you are really feeling down. Charade is also the name for a silently-acted clue in the game called charades — which originally wasn't silent. It used indirect descriptions of the words; the non-speaking version was called dumb charades.

Definitions of charade
  1. noun
    a word acted out in an episode of the game of charades
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    type of:
    word
    a unit of language that native speakers can identify
  2. noun
    a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody's style, usually in a humorous way
    synonyms: burlesque, lampoon, mockery, parody, pasquinade, put-on, sendup, spoof, takeoff, travesty
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    type of:
    caricature, imitation, impersonation
    a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect
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