noun, often attributive
car·​ny | \ ˈkär-nē How to pronounce carny (audio) \
variants: or carney or carnie
plural carnies or carneys

Definition of carny

2 : a person who works with a carnival

Examples of carny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Parker’s narration of the film adds another layer to the experience, as the former carny–turned–rock and roll manager is an unreliable narrator if ever there was one. Grant Wong, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 June 2022 In Guillermo del Toro's film noir, a very ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) conjures up a golden ticket to success by swindling the elite of 1940s society. Chaise Sanders, Country Living, 13 May 2022 Both movies travel from the carnival grounds to a swankier urban environment, where drifter-turned-carny-turned-performer Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper in the new film) and his partner Molly (Rooney Mara) perform their mentalism act. Jesse Hassenger, The Week, 16 Dec. 2021 For the non-comics fans among you, Jacques Duquesne was the alter ego of the Swordsman, a Marvel supervillain who mentored Clint Barton when Clint was a young carny in a traveling circus. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 22 Dec. 2021 Another carny, Molly (Rooney Mara), a beacon of uncorruptible sympathy, becomes Stan’s next stepping stone, stage partner and wife. Michael Phillips,, 15 Dec. 2021 Adapted from William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel, the story follows an ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) who teams up with an equally dangerous corrupt psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett). Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 14 Dec. 2021 It’s about an itinerant carny (Cooper, in a roll originated by Tyrone Power) who learns the secrets of a mind-reading act and uses them to take advantage of wealthy but gullible victims. Jim Kiest And Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Dec. 2021 The first Schmigadoonian to get his own song is future inevitable Tony Award–winner Aaron Tveit as Danny Bailey, a rough-and-tumble (well, in musical-theater terms) carny who closely resembles Carousel’s tragic Billy Bigelow. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 19 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carny.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of carny

circa 1933, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for carny

Time Traveler

The first known use of carny was circa 1933

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Dictionary Entries Near carny



Caro's acid

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Cite this Entry

“Carny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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