Barnumism showmanship or any activity taking advantage of people’s credulity or desire for sensational entertainment, as practiced by P. T. Barnum (1810-91). callithumpian a participant in a noisy mock serenade, as a charivari. charivari a mock serenade accompanied by much noise and revelry, often played as a joke on newly married couples. ecdysiast a strip tease dancer. equilibrist one who performs feats that require an unusual sense of balance, as a tightrope walker. escapism the art or technique of escaping from chains, locked trunks, etc., as a form of entertainment. —escapist, n., adj. funambulism the art or skill of tightrope walking. —funambulist, n. harlequinade a performance involving Harlequin or other characters of the Commedia dell’Arte; hence, buffoonery or clownish behavior. Also called harlequinery. illusionist a conjurer or magician who creates illusions, as by sleight of hand. jugglery the art of the juggler. legerdemain skill in or practice of feats of dexterity that create a magical illusion. —legerdemainist, n. mimicry the art or practice of copying or imitating closely, especially by a person for the purpose of entertainment. See also biology. —mimic, mimical, adj. monology 1. the art of performing monologues. 2. Obsolete, a monologue. mummery 1. a performance by mummers, performers wearing masks or fantastic disguises. 2. any showy but empty performance. pantomime the art of mute acting. —pantomimist, n. pianologue a humorous performance at the piano, sometimes with a verbal accompaniment by the performer. prestidigitation the art of legerdemain; sleight of hand. —prestidigitator, n. —prestidigitatorial, prestidigitatory, adj. puppetry the art of making and handling puppets. recitationist a person who recites poetry or other literary excerpts for entertainment. shadowgraph an image formed by a shadow cast upon a lighted surface, as one formed by the hands for entertainment. —shadowgraphist, n.
- Present participle of perform.