ba·​nal·​i·​ty | \ bə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce banality (audio) , bā- also ba- How to pronounce banality (audio) \
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

In Einstein’s day many scientists similarly saw themselves as engaged in an international, humanist enterprise that transcended borders and rose above the ugly banalities of politics. The Economist, "How Einstein and Eddington stood against jingoism," 7 June 2019 Despite strong performances from all three actors, the banality of the premise, the sketchiness of the characterizations, and the predictability of the resolution detract from the impact of what should be a heart-pounding thriller. Judy Berman, Time, "Black Mirror Used to Be a Terrifying Vision of the Future. Season 5 Is Just Silly," 5 June 2019 An era of your career can’t come to a close with that kind of banality. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Why you should totally go to the pub with your mates when you’ve just been laid off," 8 July 2019 Others, Britain’s Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, for example, take the banality of evil to new depths. Ian Morris, New York Times, "The Opium War and the Humiliation of China," 2 July 2018 Using euphemisms to cover for atrocities is the essence of the banality of evil. Anna Lind-guzik, Vox, "I’m a Jewish historian. Yes, we should call border detention centers “concentration camps.”," 20 June 2019 In keeping with Jarmusch’s casual, laid-back, we’re-not-really-trying style, the cast of The Dead Don’t Die just goes with the flow, repeating banalities as the carnage rips along. Kyle Smith, National Review, "If Hipsters Became Zombies, Could We Tell the Difference?," 11 June 2019 In a festival landscape that’s become homogenous to the point of banality, in terms of both lineups and style, Marfa Myths still manages to surprise on both fronts. Vogue, "Online Ceramics Tees, Cowboy Hats, and Marbled Tie-Dye: The Best Street Style From Marfa Myths," 16 May 2019 Consider that systemization of banality known as Axios. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Press Is the Enemy of Climate," 4 Dec. 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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Dictionary Entries near banality

Banahao, Mount





banana belt

banana bird

Statistics for banality

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

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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).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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