carnival

noun
car·​ni·​val | \ ˈkär-nə-vəl How to pronounce carnival (audio) \

Definition of carnival

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a season or festival of merrymaking before Lent
2a : an instance of merrymaking, feasting, or masquerading
b : an instance of riotous excess a carnival of violence
3a : a traveling enterprise offering amusements
b : an organized program of entertainment or exhibition : festival a winter carnival

carnival

adjective

Definition of carnival (Entry 2 of 2)

: suggestive of or suited to a carnival a carnival atmosphere carnival colors

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Synonyms for carnival

Synonyms: Noun

celebration, fest, festival, festivity, fete (or fête), fiesta, gala, jubilee

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Examples of carnival in a Sentence

Noun

the school's annual winter carnival That part of town is a carnival on Friday and Saturday nights. There is a carnival atmosphere in the office. The garden became a carnival of color.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On the Embarcadero and the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, carnival-like installations promote video games, TV shows and movies. Tribune News Service, cleveland.com, "50 years of San Diego Comic-Con: What we’ve gained and lost in five decades of pop culture celebrations (See latest photos)," 18 July 2019 The annual festival also features tractor rides, inflatable slides, live music, food, and other traditional carnival-like games. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince George and Princess Charlotte Were Spotted Out at a Local Festival With Carole Middleton," 15 July 2019 On the Embarcadero and the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, carnival-like installations promote video games, TV shows and movies. San Diego Union-Tribune, "50 Shades of Comic-Con: What we’ve gained and lost in five decades of pop culture celebrations," 14 July 2019 Another sweet moment shows Scott and Stormi riding a slide together at a carnival. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Travis Scott's Surprise Netflix Doc Is All About Music, Kylie Jenner, & Daughter Stormi," 24 Aug. 2019 Actor-filmmaker Xavier Dolan (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan) plays Adrian Mellon, a gay man who, in King’s novel, is attacked by a group of bigots while out with his boyfriend after an earlier incident at a carnival. Nick Romano, EW.com, "It Chapter Two director on adapting the book's hate crime scene," 22 Aug. 2019 Making him laugh is the equivalent of winning that giant stuffed Pink Panther at the carnival. Marianne Garvey, CNN, "B.J. Novak parties with ex Mindy Kaling for his 40th birthday," 1 Aug. 2019 Making him laugh is the equivalent of winning that giant stuffed Pink Panther at the carnival. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "B.J. Novak Says He's Feeling 'Grateful' as He Celebrates His 40th Birthday with Mindy Kaling," 1 Aug. 2019 The Blues’ goalie, Jordan Binnington, might have won a stuffed animal at the carnival at some point. Nathan Becker, WSJ, "St. Louis Hockey Fans Are No Longer Singing the Blues," 15 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Unlike most carnival celebrations throughout the Caribbean, J’ouvert does not take place in the streets of Toronto for Caribana 2019. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "Tell Dem We Reach! A First-Timer’s Guide to Caribana, Toronto's Caribbean Carnival," 24 July 2019 There will be carnival attractionsand inflatable bounce houses to keep them entertained for hours. Erica Boniface, The Know, "The best Colorado road races and fun runs of 2017," 4 Mar. 2017 Carnival-prize figurines from the first half of the 20th century line shelves that reach the ceiling. Gene Johnson, The Seattle Times, "At 75, Chihuly discusses his long struggles with mental health," 2 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carnival.' 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 carnival

Noun

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for carnival

Noun

Italian carnevale, alteration of earlier carnelevare, literally, removal of meat, from carne flesh (from Latin carn-, caro) + levare to remove, from Latin, to raise

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Statistics for carnival

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for carnival

The first known use of carnival was in 1549

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More Definitions for carnival

carnival

noun

English Language Learners Definition of carnival

: a festival held before Lent that includes music and dancing
: a form of entertainment that travels to different places and includes rides and games you can play to win prizes
: an event where many people gather to celebrate something

carnival

noun
car·​ni·​val | \ ˈkär-nə-vəl How to pronounce carnival (audio) \

Kids Definition of carnival

1 : a form of entertainment that travels from town to town and includes rides and games
2 : an organized program of entertainment or exhibition : festival a winter carnival

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Comments on carnival

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