Harlequin Definition

härlĭ-kwĭn, -kĭn
noun
A traditional comic character in pantomime, who wears a mask and spangled, diamond-patterned tights of many colors and sometimes carries a wooden wand or sword.
Webster's New World
A clown; buffoon.
Webster's New World

A pantomime fool, typically dressed in checkered clothes.

Wiktionary
Synonyms:
adjective
Comic; ludicrous.
Webster's New World
Having a pattern of brightly colored diamond shapes.
American Heritage
Of many colors; colorful.
Webster's New World
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verb
To remove or conjure away, as if by a harlequin's trick.
Wiktionary
(intransitive) To make sport by playing ludicrous tricks.
Wiktionary

Other Word Forms of Harlequin

Noun

Singular:
harlequin
Plural:
harlequins

Origin of Harlequin

  • From Middle French Harlequin (in Italian Arlecchino, the name of a popular servant character in commedia dell'arte plays) from Old French *Harlequin, Halequin, Herlequin, Hellequin (“a demon, malevolent spirit”), connected to the Old English figure of Herla Cyning (“King Herla”), a mythical figure identified with Woden.

    From Wiktionary

  • Obsolete French from Old French Herlequin, Hellequin a demon perhaps from Middle English Herleking from Old English Herla cyning King Herla, a mythical figure identified with Woden

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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