The Collaborative International Dictionary
Vaudeville \Vaude"ville\, n. [F., fr. Vau-de-vire, a village in Normandy, where Olivier Basselin, at the end of the 14th century, composed such songs.] [Written also vaudevil.]
A kind of song of a lively character, frequently embodying a satire on some person or event, sung to a familiar air in couplets with a refrain; a street song; a topical song.
A theatrical piece, usually a comedy, the dialogue of which is intermingled with light or satirical songs, set to familiar airs.
The early vaudeville, which is the forerunner of the opera bouffe, was light, graceful, and piquant.
a variety show when performed live in a theater (see above); as, to play in vaudeville; a vaudeville actor.