cav·​al·​cade | \ ˌka-vəl-ˈkād How to pronounce cavalcade (audio) , ˈka-vəl-ˌkād \

Definition of cavalcade

1a : a procession (see procession entry 1 sense 1) of riders or carriages
b : a procession of vehicles or ships
2 : a dramatic sequence or procession : series a cavalcade of natural disasters

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Synonyms for cavalcade


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The History of Cavalcade

When cavalcade was first used in English, it meant "a horseback ride" or "a march or raid made on horseback." Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, used it this way in his 1647 History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England: "He had with some Troops, made a Cavalcade or two into the West." From there came the "procession of riders" meaning and eventual applications to processions in a broader sense. Cavalcade came to English via French from the Old Italian noun cavalcata, which in turn came from an Old Italian verb, cavalcare, meaning "to go on horseback." Ultimately, these words came from the Latin word caballus, meaning "horse." The combining form cade also appears in other words describing particular kinds of processions, such as motorcade or the less common aquacade.

Examples of cavalcade in a Sentence

The cavalcade arrived at the hotel. a cavalcade of antique cars a cavalcade of natural disasters
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Recent Examples on the Web More than perhaps any other award show, the Globes depend on a cavalcade of stars — something that won't materialize when the awards are handed out Feb. 28 in a ceremony hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "'Mank' leads Golden Globe nominees with 6; Netflix dominates," 3 Feb. 2021 But InSight’s seismometer has nevertheless picked up a cavalcade of seismic rumbles and grumbles. Quanta Magazine, "Rumbles on Mars Raise Hopes of Underground Magma Flows," 1 Feb. 2021 Von Miller suffered a freak season-ending ankle injury six days before the opener, and the cavalcade of injured teammates who followed included Courtland Sutton, Jurrell Casey, Mike Purcell and Albert Okwuegbunam. Mark Heim |, al, "Raiders vs. Broncos live stream (1/3): How to watch NFL Week 17 online, TV, time," 3 Jan. 2021 People lined the street to watch and cheer as the cavalcade of semi-trucks, led by an unmarked police SUV, slowly left the parking lot. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: Vaccinations begin," 15 Dec. 2020 The future of Pokémon looks exceedingly bright with the cavalcade of niceties done to make things more convenient for trainers, and all of the creative new monsters. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "These are our favorite games for the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite," 13 Nov. 2020 Throughout this cavalcade, Herzog displays his trademark dour puckishness. The Christian Science Monitor, "Goodness gracious: ‘Fireball’ captures how meteors shape our planet," 11 Nov. 2020 But Trump’s style and his substance are intertwined—something that was abundantly clear in the second debate, a vicious cavalcade of dishonor and dishonesty. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "In Memoriam: The Trump Pivot," 22 Oct. 2020 The same could apply to Saban, Trickett explained, and his cavalcade of once-lieutenants who currently hold five SEC head-coaching jobs and others across the nation. Mike Rodak |, al, "Will Nick Saban’s dominance over his former assistants ever end?," 21 Oct. 2020

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

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cavalcade

French, ride on horseback, from Old Italian cavalcata, from cavalcare to go on horseback, from Late Latin caballicare, from Latin caballus horse; akin to Greek kaballeion horse, Middle Irish capall workhorse

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Time Traveler for cavalcade

Time Traveler

The first known use of cavalcade was in 1644

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cavalcade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for cavalcade



English Language Learners Definition of cavalcade

: a line of riders, vehicles, etc., moving along in the same direction
literary : a series of related things


cav·​al·​cade | \ ˌka-vəl-ˈkād How to pronounce cavalcade (audio) \

Kids Definition of cavalcade

1 : a procession especially of riders or carriages
2 : a dramatic series (as of related events)

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Nglish: Translation of cavalcade for Spanish Speakers

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