[17] Travesty and transvestite [20] are first cousins. Both are compounded of the Latin elements trāns- ‘across’ and vestīre ‘clothe’ (source of English vest, vestment, etc), but they are separate formations. Travesty comes ultimately from Italian travestire ‘change clothes so as to disguise’, formed from the Italian descendants of the Latin elements. This was borrowed into French as travestir ‘ridicule’, and its past participle travesti gave English travesty. Transvestite is a new formation, coined in German in the first decade of the 20th century (although there are a couple of isolated instances of a verb transvest ‘cross-dress’ from the 1650s). => INVEST, TRANSVESTITE, VEST, VESTMENT
* * *
   The word for a farcical or grotesque imitation of something derives from French travesti, 'disguised,' literally 'cross-dressed,' from an Italian verb that goes back to Latin trans, 'across,' and vestire, 'to clothe,' 'to dress.' (Compare English transvestite as a term for a person who dresses in the clothes of the opposite sex.)

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • travesty — [trav′is tē] n. pl. travesties [orig. an adj. < Fr travesti, pp. of travestir, to disguise, travesty < It travestire < L trans , TRANS + vestire, to dress, attire: see VEST] 1. a grotesque or farcical imitation for purposes of ridicule;… …   English World dictionary

  • Travesty — Trav es*ty, a. [F. travesti, p. p. of travestir to disguise, to travesty, It. travestire, fr. L. trans across, over + vestire to dress, clothe. See {Vest}.] Disguised by dress so as to be ridiculous; travestied; applied to a book or shorter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Travesty — Trav es*ty, n.; pl. {Travesties}. A burlesque translation or imitation of a work. [1913 Webster] The second edition is not a recast, but absolutely a travesty of the first. De Quincey. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • travesty — n *caricature, parody, burlesque travesty vb caricature, parody, burlesque (see under CARICATURE n) Analogous words: *copy, mimic, ape, mock, imitate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • travesty — [n] spoof, ridicule burlesque, caricature, distortion, exaggeration, farce, lampoon, lampoonery, mimicry, mock, mockery, parody, perversion, play, put on*, roast*, satire, sendup*, sham*, takeoff*; concepts 273,292 Ant. seriousness, solemnity… …   New thesaurus

  • Travesty — Trav es*ty, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Travestied}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Travesting}.] To translate, imitate, or represent, so as to render ridiculous or ludicrous. [1913 Webster] I see poor Lucan travestied, not appareled in his Roman toga, but under the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • travesty — I noun burlesque, burlesque translation, caricature, crude presentation, distortion, exaggeration, farce, imitation, lampoon, low comedy, ludicrous presentation, mimicry, mockery, parody, perversion, ridicule, take off II index caricature,… …   Law dictionary

  • travesty — 1670s, from adjective meaning dressed so as to be made ridiculous, parodied, burlesqued (c.1660s), from Fr. travesti dressed in disguise, pp. of travestir to disguise (1590s), from It. travestire to disguise, from L. trans over (see TRANS (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • travesty — ► NOUN (pl. travesties) ▪ an absurd or grotesque misrepresentation. ► VERB (travesties, travestied) ▪ represent in such a way. ORIGIN from French travestir to disguise …   English terms dictionary

  • travesty — /trav euh stee/, n., pl. travesties, v., travestied, travestying. n. 1. a literary or artistic burlesque of a serious work or subject, characterized by grotesque or ludicrous incongruity of style, treatment, or subject matter. 2. a literary or… …   Universalium

  • travesty — n. 1) to make a travesty of 2) a shocking travesty 3) a travesty of, on * * * [ trævɪstɪ] on a shocking travesty a travesty of to make a travesty of …   Combinatory dictionary

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