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Webster 1913 Edition


Harlequin

Har′le-quin

(här′lē̍-kĭn or här′lē̍-kwĭn)
,
Noun.
[F.
arlequin
, formerly written also
harlequin
(cf. It,
arlecchino
), prob. fr. OF.
hierlekin
,
hellequin
, goblin, elf, which is prob. of German or Dutch origin; cf. D.
hel
hell. Cf.
Hell
,
Kin
.]
A buffoon, dressed in parti-colored clothes, who plays tricks, often without speaking, to divert the bystanders or an audience; a merry-andrew; originally, a droll rogue of Italian comedy.
Percy Smith.
As dumb
harlequin
is exhibited in our theaters.
Johnson.
Harlequin bat
(Zool.)
,
an Indian bat (
Scotophilus ornatus
), curiously variegated with white spots.
Harlequin beetle
(Zool.)
,
a very large South American beetle (
Acrocinus longimanus
) having very long legs and antennae. The elytra are curiously marked with red, black, and gray.
Harlequin cabbage bug
.
(Zool.)
Harlequin caterpillar
.
(Zool.)
,
the larva of an American bombycid moth (
Euchaetes egle
) which is covered with black, white, yellow, and orange tufts of hair.
Harlequin duck
(Zool.)
,
a North American duck (
Histrionicus histrionicus
). The male is dark ash, curiously streaked with white.
Harlequin moth
.
(Zool.)
Harlequin opal
.
See
Opal
.
Harlequin snake
(Zool.)
,
See
harlequin snake
in the vocabulary.

Har′le-quin

(här′lē̍-kĭn or -kwĭn)
,
Verb.
I.
To play the droll; to make sport by playing ludicrous tricks.

Har′le-quin

,
Verb.
T.
To remove or conjure away, as by a harlequin’s trick.
And kitten, if the humor hit
Has
harlequined
away the fit.
M. Green.

Definition 2022


harlequin

harlequin

English

Noun

harlequin (plural harlequins)

  1. a pantomime fool, 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 harlequin to the better advantage.
  2. A yellowish-green color.
    harlequin colour:    

Translations

Usage notes

  • Because of its origin in the name of an Italian theatrical character, English Harlequin is often used as a proper name.

Adjective

harlequin

  1. brightly coloured, especially in a pattern like that of a harlequin clown's clothes
  2. Of a yellowish-green

Translations

Derived terms

Verb

harlequin (third-person singular simple present harlequins, present participle harlequining, simple past and past participle harlequined)

  1. (transitive) To remove or conjure away, as if by a harlequin's trick.
    • M. Green
      And kitten, if the humour hit / Has harlequined away the fit.
  2. (intransitive) To make sport by playing ludicrous tricks.