ba·​nal·​i·​ty | \ bə-ˈna-lə-tē, bā- also ba- \
plural banalities

Definition of banality

1 : something that lacks originality, freshness, or novelty : something banal : commonplace
2 : the quality or state of lacking new or interesting qualities : the quality or state of being banal

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Examples of banality in a Sentence

The trip offers an escape from the banalities of daily life. We exchanged banalities about the weather. The writing never rose above banality.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The emerging theme seems to be an emphasis on banality, on the pleasantly comforting and invitingly harmless. Aja Romano, Vox, "Dank no more: internet memes are evolving from edgy to cute.," 3 Oct. 2018 For McCain’s days right now — and his book — are a plea to Americans to reconsider, and to reclaim, the principles and even the rhetoric that are our ancient heritage and not, to his mind, antiquarian, obsolete banalities. David M. Shribman,, "John McCain fears for America and thinks you should too," 16 May 2018 His characteristic deflationary swerve from the lofty to the absurd, from high seriousness to utter banality, struck me as the very definition of funny. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "My Woody Allen Problem," 31 Jan. 2018 My God, again, Raheem there is banality after clich, after bromide. Fox News, "Meadows, Dershowitz react after Lisa Page defies subpoena," 12 July 2018 This has always been a favorite move of hers— to yoke together unrelated clauses, to bring together despair and banality (the novelist Fiona Maazel has called Nors the master of the conjunction). Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "A Darkly Comic Novel Stares Down a Life of Solitude," 22 May 2018 That bit of plotting might sound overly convenient, but Schrader, never pretending to be writing anything other than a polemic, gives it a terribly persuasive banality. Justin Chang,, "The bracing 'First Reformed,' starring a superb Ethan Hawke, resurrects Paul Schrader's career," 17 May 2018 Breslau perfectly conveys the banality and camaraderie of young women sharing a flat. Cate Mcquaid,, "A ThemToo movement for Parisian art," 14 June 2018 For Versatility Silver boasts go-with-everything style sans banality. Christine Lennon, WSJ, "Why the Shiny Nude Pump Must Die," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'banality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of banality

1821, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for banality

see banal

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Learn More about banality

Dictionary Entries near banality

Banahao, Mount





banana belt

banana bird

Statistics for banality

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for banality

The first known use of banality was in 1821

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More Definitions for banality



English Language Learners Definition of banality

: something that is boring or ordinary; especially : an uninteresting statement : a banal remark

: the quality of being ordinary or banal

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More from Merriam-Webster on banality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with banality

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for banality

Spanish Central: Translation of banality

Nglish: Translation of banality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of banality for Arabic Speakers

Comments on banality

What made you want to look up banality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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