Definition of charade in US English:



  • 1An absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.

    ‘talk of unity was nothing more than a charade’
    • ‘It was an elaborate charade which, through the performance of ritual, disguised the imposition of the royal will.’
    • ‘"It is time to end this charade, " she said menacingly.’
    • ‘The whole thing was one of the most cynical charades in memory.’
    • ‘So they went farther and farther until they couldn't keep the charade going any more.’
    • ‘The amazing thing is that our reporters, our public and our government buys into their charade.’
    • ‘A glance at the list of candidates shows that the whole thing is a charade.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the final executive meeting which was a charade of democracy.’
    • ‘The first meeting of the county committee last Thursday was a charade.’
    • ‘I was finding it increasingly difficult to keep up my charade with Peter, and every kiss was tainted with my dishonesty.’
    • ‘When it's presented in this way, most women can see chivalry for the silly charade it really is.’
    • ‘The charade was kept up for a long time, far too long, but all that has changed now.’
    • ‘Or would he have continued this charade and pretended he was going to medical school?’
    • ‘This budget is a pure charade with more hidden tax than the publicised ones.’
    • ‘Willing to humor him though, just to see what he was up to, I continued the charade.’
    • ‘But fortunately, as part of my ongoing charade of being a writer, I have a pad and pen with me.’
    • ‘This charade of an interview was nothing more than a commercial for appeasement.’
    • ‘Cyril confesses to never taking to parliament as an institution and described it as a charade and a farce.’
    • ‘In place of a serious investigation, the FBI has mounted an elaborate charade.’
    • ‘We'll probably never know the reasons behind the charade we've just witnessed.’
    • ‘Maybe it's time we dropped the charade and accepted that we're as brash and pushy as any New York cabbie ever was.’
    farce, pantomime, travesty, mockery, parody, pretence, act, masquerade, sham, fake, false display, show, front, facade
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1charades A game in which players guess a word or phrase from pantomimed clues.
      • ‘In the evenings or holidays we played charades and card games and table tennis.’
      • ‘I'm bored out of my wits and the rest of the guys are playing charades, not exactly my type of game.’
      • ‘Whether it's a poetry recital or a game of charades, any performance can become a life lesson.’
      • ‘As in any game of charades, eventually all the clues click and the answer suddenly became obvious.’
      • ‘It was my birthday at the weekend and a surprise dinner and after-dinner game of charades was in order.’
      • ‘Hokey as it might seem, go for the stuff you loved as a kid - musical chairs, limbo, pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, charades or a pinata.’
      • ‘Every day was like a complicated, extended game of charades.’
      • ‘A lively game of charades finished a fun filled evening.’
      • ‘For the Easter holiday weekend how about we start a game of charades?’
      • ‘We ate dinner, we played games such as charades, and we danced to the music (I danced with Lei, of course).’
      • ‘Reading and parlour games such as charades are preferred.’
      • ‘When they got together at Mike's, a game of charades was inevitable.’
      • ‘The evening ended with a game of charades with some very unusual and funny pub names to guess.’
      • ‘Round up the gang for a game of touch football or charades.’
      • ‘Moll took a moment to try to decipher it, feeling like she was playing an odd parlour game of charades.’
      • ‘The soldiers from both sides quickly overcame the language barrier and communicated in a fashion more like a noisy game of charades.’
      • ‘There weren't many people over, but we had a good game of poker, a good game of charades, and very good champagne at midnight.’
      • ‘They played all sorts of games: cards, draughts, and even charades.’
      • ‘During their stay, children will have complementary use of the Fun in Safe Hands Club, which includes activities such as water games, a video club, charades, make and do, painting and competitions.’
      • ‘She introduced him to charades, although the clues had to be limited to those that could be done from a sitting position.’


Late 18th century: from French, from modern Provençal charrado ‘conversation’, from charra ‘chatter’, perhaps of imitative origin.