A harlequinade is the part of a comedy that features the harlequin, an old-fashioned clown. A harlequinade is also any time someone clowns around, like if you put on a fake mustache and imitate your math teacher.

A harlequinade was originally the part of a pantomime that featured the harlequin, a mute character with a mask and diamond-patterned tights, goofing around with a clown. Since those aren’t performed as much now as they were in the 18th and 19th centuries in England, a harlequinade also refers to any time people engage in high-jinx and mayhem. If you wanted to tell someone to get serious while showing off your vocabulary, you could say, "Stop the harlequinade!"

Definitions of harlequinade

n acting like a clown or buffoon

buffoonery, clowning, frivolity, japery, prank
schtick, schtik, shtick, shtik
(Yiddish) a prank or piece of clowning
Type of:
craziness, folly, foolery, indulgence, lunacy, tomfoolery
foolish or senseless behavior

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