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See also: Pantomime


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Circa 17th century, from Latin pantomīmus, from Ancient Greek παντόμιμος (pantómimos), from πᾶς (pâs, each, all) + μιμέομαι (miméomai, I mimic).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpantəˌmʌɪm/
    • (file)
  • (US, Canada) IPA(key): /ˈpæntəˌmaɪm/


pantomime (countable and uncountable, plural pantomimes)

  1. (now rare) A Classical comic actor, especially one who works mainly through gesture and mime. [from 17th c.]
    • 1865, Edward Burnett Tylor, Researches into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization
      [He] saw a pantomime perform so well that he could follow the performance from the action alone.
  2. (historical) The drama in ancient Greece and Rome featuring such performers; or (later) any of various kinds of performance modelled on such work. [from 17th c.]
  3. (Britain) A traditional theatrical entertainment, originally based on the commedia dell'arte, but later aimed mostly at children and involving physical comedy, topical jokes, call and response, and fairy-tale plots. [from 18th c.]
    • 2011 October 20, Michael da Silva, “Stoke 3 - 0 Macc Tel-Aviv”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      With the Stoke supporters jeering Ziv's every subsequent touch, the pantomime atmosphere created by the home crowd reached a crescendo when Ziv was shown a straight red shortly after the break in extraordinary circumstances.
  4. Gesturing without speaking; dumb-show, mime. [from 18th c.]
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 26
      A staid, steadfast man, whose life for the most part was a telling pantomime of action, and not a tame chapter of sounds.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 26:
      In pantomime, Chief Joyi would fling his spear and creep along the veld as he narrated the victories and defeats.

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pantomime (third-person singular simple present pantomimes, present participle pantomiming, simple past and past participle pantomimed)

  1. (transitive) To make (a gesture) without speaking.
    I pantomimed steering a car; he understood, and tossed the keys to me.
  2. (transitive) To entertain others by silent gestures or actions. (Can we add an example for this sense?)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



pantomime f

  1. plural of pantomima




  1. vocative singular of pantomīmus