Definitions
harlequin Tweet Definition of harlequin Like Definition of harlequin on Facebook
noun 
  1. a pantomime clown, typically dressed in checkered clothes
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
    • :... were certainly the worst and dullest company into which an audience was ever introduced; and (which was a secret known to few) were actually intended so to be, in order to contrast the comic part of the entertainment, and to display the tricks of to the better advantage.
adjective 
  1. brightly coloured, especially in a pattern like that of a harlequin clown's clothes
Etymology: from Middle Dutch hellekijn, meaning little hell,then in French hellequin and in Italian Arlecchino, the name of a popular servant character in commedia dell'arte plays.


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