Halftime at the Super Bowl, the Oscar awards ceremony, or the opera Aida performed at the Baths of Caracalla — each of these is an extravaganza, a big, splashy, extravagant entertainment or celebration.

The word extravaganza comes from the Italian word estravaganza (or stravaganza), which was an elaborate literary or musical production. When the word appeared in English in the mid-18th century, English speakers turned the estra- into extra- because after all, an elaborate entertainment could certainly be called something "extra." Aida at the Baths of Caracalla, complete with horses, astonishing costumes, and faux-Egyptian temples — now that's an extravaganza.

Definitions of extravaganza

n any lavishly staged or spectacular entertainment

Type of:
amusement, entertainment
an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention

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