Definition of masque noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//mɑːsk//
; NAmE NAmE//mæsk//
Types of play
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a play written in verse, often with music and dancing, popular in England in the 16th and 17th centuries See related entries: Types of play Word Originearly 16th cent. (in the sense ‘masquerade or masked ball’): probably a back-formation (influenced by French masque ‘mask’) from masker, from Italian mascar ‘person wearing a mask’. Culture Many of the most popular masques were written by Ben Jonson, with costumes and scenery designed by Inigo Jones. Although masques died out after the English Civil War, many of its features were used in later forms of theatre, opera and ballet.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: masque