Etymology
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pageant (n.)

late 14c., pagent, "a play in a cycle of mystery plays," from Medieval Latin pagina, a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin pagina "page of a book" (see page (n.1)) on notion of "manuscript" of a play.

But an early sense in Middle English also was "wheeled stage or scene of a play" (late 14c.) and Klein, Century Dictionary, etc., say a sense of Medieval Latin pagina was "movable scaffold" (probably from the etymological sense of "stake"). The sense might have been extended from the platform to the play presented on it.

With unetymological -t as in ancient (adj.). In Middle English also "a scene in a royal welcome or a Roman triumph" (mid-15c.); "a story, a tale" (early 15c.); "an ornamental hanging for a room" (mid-15c.). The generalized sense of "showy parade, spectacle" is attested by 1805, though this notion is found in pageantry (1650s).

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game (v.)
Middle English gamen "to sport, joke, jest," from Old English gamenian "to play, jest, joke;" see game (n.). The Middle English word is little recorded from c. 1400 and modern use for "to play at games" (1520s) probably is a new formation from the noun; and it might have been re-re-coined late 20c. in reference to computer games. Related: Gamed; gaming.
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opalescence (n.)

"iridescence like that of an opal, a play of colors milky rather than brilliant," 1792; see opalescent + -ence. Perhaps via French opalescence.

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dice (v.)

late 14c., "to cut into cubes," from dice (n.). Meaning "to play at dice" is from early 15c. Related: Diced; dicing.

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lusory (adj.)
"playful," 1650s, from Latin lusorius "belonging to a player," from lusor "player," from stem of ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Related: Lusorious (1610s).
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lay (n.1)
"short song," mid-13c., from Old French lai "song, lyric," of unknown origin. Perhaps from Celtic (compare Irish laid "song, poem," Gaelic laoidh "poem, verse, play") because the earliest verses so called were Arthurian ballads, but OED finds this "out of the question" and prefers a theory which traces it to a Germanic source, such as Old High German leich "play, melody, song."
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lek (v.)
of certain animals, "to engage in courtship displays," 1871, probably from Swedish leka "to play," cognate of English dialectal verb lake (see lark (n.2)). Related: Lekking.
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prop (n.2)

"object used in a play," 1898, from props (1841), shortened form of properties (which was in theatrical use from early 15c.); see property.

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hazard (v.)

"put something at stake in a game of chance," 1520s, from French hasarder "to play at gambling, throw dice" (15c.), from hasard (see hazard (n.)). Related: Hazarded; hazarding.

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prelude (n.)

"introductory performance; a preliminary to an action event or work," 1560s, from French prélude "notes sung or played to test the voice or instrument" (1530s), from Medieval Latin preludium "prelude, preliminary," from Latin praeludere "to play beforehand for practice, preface," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Purely musical sense of "movement or piece forming the introduction to a musical work" is attested in English by 1650s. Related: Preludial; prelusive; prelusory; preludious; prelusion.

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