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Charades is a word game in which one player acts out a word or phrase, often by pantomiming similar-sounding words, and the other players guess the word or phrase.

The rules of charades used vary widely and informally, but in its most common form the players divide into two teams. One team member is selected to be the pantomime, is provided with a randomly selected word of phrase in secret (usually on a slip of paper drawn from a container), and then has a limited period of time in which to convey this to his teammates. The teams alternate until each team member has had an opportunity to pantomime.

A number of standard signals have come into common usage in charades. To indicate the general category of a word or phrase:

To indicate other characteristics of the word or phrase:

Some conventions have also evolved about very common words:

Note that these signals are standardized by general consensus only, and may vary somewhat from place to place.