Pantomime is a piece of theatre, of English origin, descending from Greek comedy, picking up Mummers on the way, feeding into british obsessions with cross dressing; the Principal Boy is a female role, The Dame a role for a man...using techniques of slapstick, music hall, variety and audience participation to create a spectacle that many love, many hate and few can truly understand.

Pan"to*mime (?), n. [F., fr. L. pantomimus, Gr. , lit., all-imitating; , , all + to imitate: cf. It. pantomimo. See Mimic.]


A universal mimic; an actor who assumes many parts; also, any actor.



One who acts his part by gesticulation or dumb show only, without speaking; a pantomimist.

[He] saw a pantomime perform so well that he could follow the performance from the action alone. Tylor.


A dramatic representation by actors who use only dumb show; hence, dumb show, generally.


A dramatic and spectacular entertainment of which dumb acting as well as burlesque dialogue, music, and dancing by Clown, Harlequin, etc., are features.


© Webster 1913.

Pan"to*mime, a.

Representing only in mute actions; pantomimic; as, a pantomime dance.


© Webster 1913.

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