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Meaning of Burlesue


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  • a derisive art form that mocks by imitation; a parody
  • a variety adult entertainment show, usually including titillation such as striptease, most common from the 1880s to the 1930s.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia



Bur*lesque" (&?;), a. [F. burlesque, fr. It. burlesco, fr. burla jest, mockery, perh. for burrula, dim. of L. burrae trifles. See Bur.] Tending to excite laughter or contempt by extravagant images, or by a contrast between the subject and the manner of treating it, as when a trifling subject is treated with mock gravity; jocular; ironical.

It is a dispute among the critics, whether burlesque poetry runs best in heroic verse, like that of the Dispensary, or in doggerel, like that of Hudibras.
Addison.

Bur*lesque" (&?;), n. 1. Ludicrous representation; exaggerated parody; grotesque satire.

Burlesque is therefore of two kinds; the first represents mean persons in the accouterments of heroes, the other describes great persons acting and speaking like the basest among the people.
Addison.

2. An ironical or satirical composition intended to excite laughter, or to ridicule anything.

The dull burlesque appeared with impudence,
And pleased by novelty in spite of sense.
Dryden.

3. A ludicrous imitation; a caricature; a travesty; a gross perversion.

Who is it that admires, and from the heart is attached to, national representative assemblies, but must turn with horror and disgust from such a profane burlesque and abominable perversion of that sacred institute?
Burke.

Syn. -- Mockery; farce; travesty; mimicry.

Bur*lesque" (&?;), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Burlesqued (&?;); p. pr. & vb. n. Burlesquing (&?;).] To ridicule, or to make ludicrous by grotesque representation in action or in language.

They burlesqued the prophet Jeremiah's words, and turned the expression he used into ridicule.
Stillingfleet.

Bur*lesque", v. i. To employ burlesque.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)



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