Examples of banal in a Sentence
- The more banal, the more commonplace, the more predictable, the triter, the staler, the dumber, the better. —Don DeLillo, Mao II, 1991
- The instructor's script is banal, relying heavily on images of waves on a beach or clouds in the sky. —Maxine Kumin, "Wintering Over," 1979, in In Deep, 1987
- … it seemed to me that computers have been used in ways that are salutary, in ways that are dangerous, banal and cruel, and in ways that seem harmless if a little silly. —Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine, 1981
He made some banal remarks about the weather.
The writing was banal but the story was good.
Recent Examples of banal from the Web
The most banal holodeck Virtual reality has so much potential.
The dialogue here is pointed, as the parents' banal statements barely hide their passive-aggressive efforts to control their daughter.
Teens will more likely see smiling or goofy selfies, an endless string of heart emojis, or some funny or banal comment.
Republican policy elites consider such an admission obvious, even banal.
During my weeks of Facebook group immersion, I was reminded of how much early 2000s message-board chatter was banal, off-topic or argumentative.
Their Hamlet is little more than banal reiteration of Olivier’s Freudian interpretation from the 1940s – but with the volume amped up to 11 Spinal Tap style.
Brown’s performance latches on to that nebulous horror of the banal, and turns it into high drama.
Of this trippy generation of shows, The Leftovers staged the most convincing relationship between the real and the imagined, the banal and the bizarre.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'banal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
How do you pronounce banal?
There are several pronunciations of banal, but the three most common are \BAY-nul\, \buh-NAHL\, and \buh-NAL\ (which rhymes with canal). The earliest pronunciation given in our dictionaries is the now-unused \BAN-ul\ (rhymes with “flannel); it is attested to in our dictionaries back to the 1800s, but has dropped out of use. \BAY-nul\ is the next oldest pronunciation. The more recent \buh-NAL\ and \buh-NAHL\ came about through French influence, since banal was borrowed into English from French, and those two pronunciations are closer to the French pronunciation of banal. All three pronunciations are acceptable in educated speech; \buh-NAL\ is currently the most common, followed by \BAY-nul\ and then \buh-NAHL. There is no reason to condemn any of them as incorrect.
Origin and Etymology of banal
First Known Use: 1825See Words from the same year
Synonymswishy–washy, flat, insipid, milk-and-water, namby-pamby, watery
Antonymsfresh, new, novel, original, unclichéd, unhackneyed
Related Wordsunexciting, uninspiring, unrewarding; bland, boring, drab, dreary, dry, dull, heavy, humdrum, jading, leaden, lifeless, monotonous, pedestrian, ponderous, tedious, tiresome, tiring, uninteresting, vapid, wearisome, weary, wearying; inane; innocuous, inoffensive; mild, soft, subdued, tame, weak; common, commonplace, ordinary, stale, unexceptional
Near Antonymspiquant, poignant, pungent, racy, spicy; meaty, substantial; entertaining, exciting, galvanizing, inspiring, invigorating, thrilling
Synonym Discussion of banal
- an insipid romance with platitudes on every page
- an exciting story given a vapid treatment
- although well-regarded in its day, the novel now seems flat
- a jejune and gassy speech
- a banal tale of unrequited love
- an inane interpretation of the play
BANAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of banal for English Language Learners
: boring or ordinary : not interesting
medical Definition of banal
- banal skin organisms
- a banal inflammation
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up banal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).