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



BrE BrE//ˈhɑːləkwɪn//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɑːrləkwɪn//
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an amusing character in some traditional plays, who wears special brightly coloured clothes with a diamond pattern Word Originlate 16th cent.: from obsolete French, from earlier Herlequin (or Hellequin), the name of the leader of a legendary troop of demon horsemen; perhaps ultimately related to Old English Herla cyning ‘King Herla’, a mythical figure sometimes identified with Woden (another name for Odin, the supreme god and creator in Scandinavian mythology).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Harlequin