Definition of travesty in English:


nounPlural travesties

  • A false, absurd, or distorted representation of something.

    ‘the absurdly lenient sentence is a travesty of justice’
    • ‘What eventually took its place was a travesty of the real thing, a mockery of the power that could raise men to heaven and give them the glimpse of God for which they gladly died.’
    • ‘The planning meeting, in my opinion, was a travesty of democracy.’
    • ‘However defeat for Seamus Grant would have been a travesty of justice given all that he has delivered to the county for fifty years and more.’
    • ‘It was ‘a travesty of democracy’ that MPs were yesterday denied the right to a proper vote on the issue, she said.’
    • ‘This is indeed a shame and a travesty of national proportions.’
    • ‘The participants are adults, they know what they are in for and if it is a travesty of human dignity, it is a victimless travesty because they want to do it and we want to watch it.’
    • ‘Gardens in the Arab world today, for example in the Emirates, which grow where once nothing grew at all, are very worthy but a travesty of the original.’
    • ‘Hillary and the two Australians set out in November 1998 on what became a travesty of the Scott epic.’
    • ‘And if he isn't crowned King of the Jungle in 24 hours time, it will be a travesty of the highest order.’
    • ‘I think that is a travesty of justice if that occurs and I'm against it totally.’
    • ‘The second lesson must be that we need to understand that blaming the residents of Sighthill for the events of the past week is simply misguided and a travesty of the truth.’
    • ‘He has a good sense of humor about his situation, but it makes it nonetheless a travesty of justice and humanity.’
    • ‘We, at the appeals tribunal do not think Mr Fawkes received a fair trial - and consequently we believe there has been a travesty of justice.’
    • ‘In short, it is a travesty of not only scholarship, but plain common sense.’
    • ‘How that one got past the speaker is a travesty of fiscal accountability.’
    • ‘We will walk through a travesty of language, where truth is but a signs system and actions are always appear flanked by a pair of stars.’
    • ‘But the premise of the movie (that Cruise fights off the Martians) is a travesty of the book.’
    • ‘The showpeople left calling it a travesty of justice.’
    • ‘We hate it and regard it as a travesty of justice when applied to others, especially others whose sins hurt us.’
    • ‘When I survey the world of the New Humanities, what I see is a travesty of what I understand by the life of the mind.’
    misrepresentation, distortion, perversion, corruption, poor imitation, poor substitute, mockery, parody, caricature
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verbtravestied, travestying, travesties

[with object]
  • Represent in a false, absurd, or distorted way.

    ‘Michael has betrayed the family by travestying them in his plays’
    • ‘The film adds up to some interesting although unrevealing character studies of mostly invisible lives, lives that travestied the deep convictions and moral anguish of so many Americans during the 1960s.’
    • ‘He travestied Virgil, remaking the original Trojans into Ukrainian kozaks and the destruction of Troy into the abolition of the hetmanate.’
    • ‘It was revolting to him [Ronny] to hear his mother travestied into Esmiss Esmoor, a Hindu goddess.’
    • ‘All things take place in a solid and freighted world, and Edward's masterpiece, Orientalism, showed in detail how one such world was made and inhabited - who owned it, and whom it travestied and excluded.’
    • ‘Just about every speech is systematically travestied or butchered, not just to be different, which would be bad enough, but to be rendered devoid of meaning.’
    • ‘This was becoming familiar with me as I travestied layers.’
    • ‘I wish you had come a couple of days earlier and seen a concert performance they gave us, travestying the coaches.’
    • ‘Even Rimbaud's renunciation is travestied by Vincent Molinier, who, having killed his lover, goes mad in a remote corner of Africa.’
    • ‘Mrs Thatcher had just won her first term, and we were in for a general hardening and factionalizing in the whole society, with a concomitant travestying of the realities of the factionalized groups.’
    • ‘Inherently every artwork desires identity with itself, an identity that in empirical reality is violently forced on all objects as identity with the subject and is thus travestied.’
    • ‘The poem Warburton had vindicated a quarter of a century earlier from charges of deism by a Swiss professor had now been travestied along with his own commentary.’
    • ‘Still, if the only way you can sell - I mean, with free seating, give away - the classics is by travestying them, why bother?’
    • ‘The best that can be said for the show is that it depicts a portion of humanity heretofore absent from, or travestied by, a medium purporting to be representative.’
    misrepresent, parody, caricature, burlesque, mock, make a mockery of, ridicule, make fun of
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Mid 17th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘dressed to appear ridiculous’): from French travesti ‘disguised’, past participle of travestir, from Italian travestire, from trans- ‘across’ + vestire ‘clothe’.