car·​ni·​val·​esque ˌkär-nə-və-ˈlesk How to pronounce carnivalesque (audio)
: suggestive of a carnival
a carnivalesque celebration
: marked by an often mocking or satirical challenge to authority and the traditional social hierarchy
a carnivalesque protest

Examples of carnivalesque in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In his Bombay masala cassava, his baked eggs with tadka greens (the sort of nourishing dish that would drown a cold), and his chaat-style loaded twice-baked potatoes, a recipe which draws from Mumbai’s carnivalesque street food traditions. Meher Mirza, Vogue, 5 Dec. 2023 In recent years, the festivities have expanded into a carnivalesque celebration and, increasingly, a tourist draw. Megan Zhang, Saveur, 1 Nov. 2023 During the town’s carnivalesque Battle of the Flowers, Her Majesty much enjoyed pelting the masquerading crowd from the balcony of her hotel. Jonathan Miles, Town & Country, 5 Sep. 2023 Piccioli used watercolors to paint, in his signature pink, a carnivalesque mask over Dalí’s face. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Sep. 2023 Another image, taken during the Hudson Valley wave of the mid-eighties, reportedly by a state trooper, shows an arc of lights in a carnivalesque array of colors, hanging in the night sky. Chris Wiley, The New Yorker, 3 Aug. 2023 These early novels could be carnivalesque in their humor. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 13 June 2023 The result is part carnivalesque caricature and part generic smiley face. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2023 The block party felt like a throwback to a New York of a different era, when Deitch Projects and other galleries tapped into a frenzied downtown art scene and held carnivalesque openings that spilled onto the sidewalk and blurred the lines of art, music, fashion and nightlife. John Ortved, New York Times, 20 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carnivalesque.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carnivalesque was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near carnivalesque

Cite this Entry

“Carnivalesque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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