vaudevil


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Vaudeville \Vaude"ville\, n. [F., fr. Vau-de-vire, a village in
   Normandy, where Olivier Basselin, at the end of the 14th
   century, composed such songs.] [Written also vaudevil.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. A kind of song of a lively character, frequently embodying
      a satire on some person or event, sung to a familiar air
      in couplets with a refrain; a street song; a topical song.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A theatrical piece, usually a comedy, the dialogue of
      which is intermingled with light or satirical songs, set
      to familiar airs.
      [1913 Webster]

            The early vaudeville, which is the forerunner of the
            opera bouffe, was light, graceful, and piquant.
                                                  --Johnson's
                                                  Cyc.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. a variety show when performed live in a theater (see
      above); as, to play in vaudeville; a vaudeville actor.
      [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
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