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
Other times civilization just appears banal and tasteless, as when some of the wealthy suburbanites cruise around complacently in designer golf carts.
Among the young, basic has been sharpened into an insult slung at the banal.
Their quiet, subterranean presence makes this banal Montana ranch house one of the most strategically important locations on the planet.
These are archetypal fables in which even banal emotional encounters are fabulist.
Beneath those, Burtt lay down the banal ambient noise of any scene—the sonic equivalent of a painter’s undercoat—managing to make even the air-conditioning in the corridors of the Death Star sound volatile and ominous.
There didn’t seem to be much call for a retread of this banal but somehow popular ‘80s and ‘90s lifeguard drama in 2017.
The unblinking gaze of the camera, often taking in the action from a deliberate distance, lends even seemingly banal activities a queasy, hypnotic power.
The series begins with a couple that seem snoozily familiar, caught up in the most banal of plots, and makes them interesting.
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
boring, colorless, drab, dreary, dry, dull, dusty, flat, heavy, humdrum, leaden, monotonous, numbing, old, pedestrian, ponderous, prosaic, stodgy, stuffy, tame, tedious, tiresome, tiring, uninteresting, vapid, wearisome, weary, wearying;
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
Seen and Heard
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