pantomimic


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pan·to·mime

 (păn′tə-mīm′)
n.
1. Communication by means of gesture and facial expression: Some tourists make themselves understood abroad by pantomime.
2.
a. The telling of a story without words, by means of bodily movements, gestures, and facial expressions.
b. A play, dance, or other theatrical performance characterized by such wordless storytelling.
c. An ancient Roman theatrical performance in which one actor played all the parts by means of gesture and movement, accompanied by a narrative chorus.
d. A player in such a performance.
3. A traditional British Christmas entertainment for children, usually based on nursery tales and featuring stock characters in costume who sing, dance, and perform skits.
v. pan·to·mimed, pan·to·mim·ing, pan·to·mimes
v.tr.
To represent or express by pantomime: pantomime a story on the stage; pantomimed "baby" by cradling an imaginary infant.
v.intr.
To express oneself in pantomime.

[Latin pantomīmus, a pantomimic actor, from Greek pantomīmos : panto-, all (from pās, pant-; see pan-) + mīmos, mime.]

pan′to·mim′ic (-mĭm′ĭk) adj.
pan′to·mim′ist (-mī′mĭst) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
In doing this Toby went through with a complete series of pantomimic illustrations--opening his mouth from ear to ear, and thrusting his fingers down his throat, gnashing his teeth and rolling his eyes about, till I verily believe the poor creatures took us for a couple of white cannibals who were about to make a meal of them.
Although I had some lingering doubts, I feigned great delight with Toby at this announcement, while my companion broke out into a pantomimic abhorrence of Typee, and immeasurable love for the particular valley in which we were; our guides all the while gazing uneasily at one another as if at a loss to account for our conduct.
Possibly some cynic, at once merry and bitter, had desired to signify, in this pantomimic scene, that we mortals, whatever our business or amusement,--however serious, however trifling, --all dance to one identical tune, and, in spite of our ridiculous activity, bring nothing finally to pass.
Phoebe threw down a whole handful of cents, which he picked up with joyless eagerness, handed them over to the Italian for safekeeping, and immediately recommenced a series of pantomimic petitions for more.
As he said it, Master Bates caught up an end of his neckerchief; and, holding it erect in the air, dropped his head on his shoulder, and jerked a curious sound through his teeth; thereby indicating, by a lively pantomimic representation, that scragging and hanging were one and the same thing.
Yes, I said, Adeimantus, but the mixed style is also very charming: and indeed the pantomimic, which is the opposite of the one chosen by you, is the most popular style with children and their attendants, and with the world in general.
For while the journalism of the States permits a pantomimic vulgarity long past anything English, it also shows a real excitement about the most earnest mental problems, of which English papers are innocent, or rather incapable.
Thomas being set to make inquiry, discovers their names on the minute-hand, and reports accordingly; and they are sent for, a knot of their friends making derisive and pantomimic allusions to what their fate will be as they walk off.
It is, after all, the mail-coach's theatrical or pantomimic display--its royal insignia, its "additions," the driver's livery, the newspaper legend--that by association with "the state and the executive government," says De Quincey, "invested us with seasonable terrors" (190).
In his treatise Ueber die Moden (On Fashions) of 1792, Garve posits a cultural signifying system of social communication manifest in the clothing and gestures of class etiquette, which supposedly functioned as a kind of second, pantomimic language (202-03).
Formed by a psychological identification with the love object that had to be disavowed for the construction of a coherent subjectivity, gender becomes a melancholic performance acted out by the body and by language as a "pantomimic response to loss" (162).
The years 1908-1913--roughly the span from Griffith's Edgar Allen Poe to his The Avenging Conscience--represent a period of gradual change in acting styles from the broad movement and stylized, pantomimic gestures of the popular theater tradition to an understated byplay and a gestural economy which more easily reveal individual character.