(redirected from Beauty pageant)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Wikipedia.


pageant, modern dramatic spectacle or procession celebrating a special occasion or an event in the history of a locality. In medieval times the word pageant had meant the wagon or the movable stage on which one scene of a mystery or miracle play was performed. The pageant was built on wheels and consisted of two rooms, the lower one being used as a dressing room and the upper used as a stage. The word also referred to the complex wooden machine-structures built for the Tudor masque. The modern form of the pageant came into general use in England and America since the production, in 1905, of L. N. Parker's Sherborne pageant in England. Pageants include such celebrations as the Mardi Gras and annual local festivals.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term used to designate a movable stage in the medieval theater used in presenting mysteries, miracle plays, and dramatic processions.

The pageant was a large wagon consisting of two levels. On the lower level the actors changed their costumes; on the upper level, which was provided with a curtain and primitive scenery, a scene or act from a play was presented. The pageant then moved on to a new site and the same scene was played again before a new group of spectators. Another wagon appeared, on whose stage the play was continued. The scenes followed one another in strict accordance with the play’s plot.

Pageants were popular in England and in other European countries. In the early 20th century the term was applied in Great Britain and the USA to theatrical performances using a movable stage.


Gvozdev, A., and A. Piotrovskii. Istoriia evropeiskogo teatra. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931. Pages 415–62.
Parker, A. Pageants: Their Presentation and Production. London, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Explored videos with regards to, do's and the don'ts in beauty pageants. I didn't only watch them I incorporated what I learned.
Mrs World is the first and oldest beauty pageant of its kind in the world, founded by David Marmel, who is also the president.
Another is the embrace of competitions like beauty pageants, whose goal is to attract attention and to be acclaimed for beauty.
According to a press statement released in Monrovia Thursday, 2 August, the Face-Of-Africa Beauty Pageant is TREK Africa/ECOWAS' signature "talent-hunt" for supermodels and beauty queens who are crowned to help the Pan-African organization (ECOWAS), effect social-change across Africa.
Camel races and camel beauty pageants are a favourite recreation for citizens, and some animals fetch millions of dollars at auctions in the country.
Kathuria has collaborated as an official Smile Care Partner with the highly prestigious Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva Miss Universe India 2017 beauty pageant.
Kathuria has collaborated as an official Smile Care Partner with the highly prestigious Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva Miss Universe India 2017 beauty pageant. This famous beauty pageant aims at choosing the best beauties with brains among young girls across the country.
A sneak peek at "Mama June: From Not To Hot" Season 2, episode 2 shows how Honey Boo Boo helps her mom to prepare for a beauty pageant. 
(5) Lesanko's comments could easily have been made in a mainstream beauty pageant. Comments surrounding local patriotism, support for the war effort, and expressions of gratitude for Allied war veterans were commonplace in Miss America pageants and in smaller local contests.
The beauty pageant, the first of its kind organised by Espanio Events in Kochi in the Indian state of Kerala on May 20, saw 25 finalists from all over the world, including six from the UAE.
The young beauty pageant competitor admitted to having struggled in her teens.