noun \ˈkär-nə-vəl\

: a festival held before Lent that includes music and dancing [= count ]

: a form of entertainment that travels to different places and includes rides and games you can play to win prizes

: an event where many people gather to celebrate something

Full Definition of CARNIVAL

:  a season or festival of merrymaking before Lent
a :  an instance of merrymaking, feasting, or masquerading
b :  an instance of riotous excess <a carnival of violence>
a :  a traveling enterprise offering amusements
b :  an organized program of entertainment or exhibition :  festival <a winter carnival>

Examples of CARNIVAL

  1. the school's annual winter carnival
  2. That part of town is a carnival on Friday and Saturday nights.
  3. There is a carnival atmosphere in the office.
  4. The garden became a carnival of color.

Origin of CARNIVAL

Italian carnevale, alteration of earlier carnelevare, literally, removal of meat, from carne flesh (from Latin carn-, caro) + levare to remove, from Latin, to raise
First Known Use: 1549

Other Performing Arts Terms

diva, dramaturgy, loge, prestidigitation, proscenium, supernumerary, zany



Definition of CARNIVAL

:  suggestive of or suited to a carnival <a carnival atmosphere> <carnival colors>

First Known Use of CARNIVAL



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Final celebration before the fasting and austerity of Lent in some Roman Catholic regions. The most famous and probably most exuberant carnival is that of Rio de Janeiro, which is celebrated with masked balls, costumes, and parades; the best-known U.S. celebration is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The first day of carnival season varies with local traditions, but carnival usually ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent.


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