A literary or dramatic work that ridicules a subject either by presenting a solemn subject in an undignified style or an inconsequential subject in a dignified style. See Synonyms at caricature. A ludicrous or mocking imitation; a travesty: The antics of the defense attorneys turned the trial into a burlesque of justice. A variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, dancing, and striptease. To imitate mockingly or humorously: "always bringing junk . . . home, as if he were burlesquing his role as provider\u201d ( John Updike). To use the methods or techniques of burlesque.