1. Communication by means of gesture and facial expression: Some tourists make themselves understood abroad by pantomime.
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
To represent or express by pantomime: pantomime a story on the stage; pantomimed "baby" by cradling an imaginary infant.
To express oneself in pantomime.
[Latin pantomīmus, a pantomimic actor, from Greek pantomīmos : panto-, all (from pās, pant-; see PAN-) + mīmos, mime.]
pan′to·mimic (-mĭmĭk) adj.
pan′to·mimist (-mīmĭst) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.