ba·​nal·​i·​ty | \ bə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce banality (audio) , bā- How to pronounce banality (audio) 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 banality of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s adapted script suggests satire, yet the film is fairly humorless, despite the musicians’ profane badinage. Armond White, National Review, "The Fiasco of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," 1 Jan. 2021 What began in banality ended in sublimity as the subject everyone was skirting — death — was finally approached via Bach’s Mass in B Minor and the deep listening of Maryann Plunkett’s performance. Charles Mcnulty Theater Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Best theater in 2020: In a year to forget, virtuoso performances to remember," 8 Dec. 2020 Popular culture has always rewarded Kardashian-style spectacle, perhaps because that spectacle has been leavened with the striving, bickering banality showcased on reality TV. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "How COVID-19 Dethroned the Kardashians," 17 Nov. 2020 Teetering between novelty and banality, Egan’s novel manages to squeeze a drop of wonder out of a crude communication method. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, "Our Love-Hate Relationship with Gimmicks," 9 Nov. 2020 The rest of the movie is funny, cringeworthy, ultimately delightful, a brilliant and layered exploration of the banality of evil, and a parable of Russian interference in U.S. politics. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The “Borat” Sequel Is a Parable of Russian Interference in American Politics," 27 Oct. 2020 Yet allow eyes and mind to refocus, and banality yields to fascination. Kieran Dodds; Text By Peter Ross, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Hedges Became the Unofficial Emblem of Great Britain," 22 Oct. 2020 The modernist design, a mix of bold structural drama, attractive public spaces and reflective-glass banality, will leave its mark on downtown long after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Blair Kamin,, "Column: City’s tallest office building in 30 years opens along Chicago River, mixing drama and banality," 9 Oct. 2020 The banality of the work, together with the constant, gnawing disturbance of her gender presentation, left her depleted and despondent. Will Stephenson, Harper's Magazine, "The Well-Tempered Synthesizer," 15 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for banality

Time Traveler

The first known use of banality was in 1821

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Statistics for banality

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Banality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for banality


How to pronounce banality (audio) How to pronounce banality (audio)

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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