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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for cavalcade


armada, caravan, fleet, line, motorcade, train

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But among Kepler’s cavalcade of data, more planets are still waiting to be found—and a new method just turned up the biggest haul yet from the mission’s second, concluding phase, called K2. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "One Search to (Almost) Rule Them All: Hundreds of Hidden Planets Found in Kepler Data," 2 Aug. 2019 The Yankees refused to fold despite an early cavalcade of injuries. Andy Mccullough,, "Defending World Series champion Red Sox still feared despite early stumble," 13 July 2019 Not this cavalcade of stars who sort of rotate through Gold Star. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Rep’s world-premiere musical ‘House of Dreams’ tells the story of a legendary L.A. hit factory," 20 July 2019 The result is a cavalcade of round-trippers, including some majestic shots that will live long in the highlights. Jon Tayler,, "Ranking the 10 Best Home Runs of 2019 So Far," 4 July 2019 Nintendo welcomed players to try out a cavalcade of titles including Luigi’s Mansion 3, the cartoony remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Pokemon Sword and Shield. NBC News, "Dancing tomatoes and llama pinatas? This must be a gaming convention.," 26 June 2019 When summer arrives in New York City, so will a cavalcade of hip-hop acts spanning generations. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "SummerStage Will Celebrate Hip-Hop’s Past," 18 Apr. 2018 In 2017, the hit HBO series changed the game for prestige television, uniting a jaw-dropping cavalcade of powerhouse actresses, including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Big Little Lies casting director David Rubin on how they landed Meryl Streep for season 2," 26 June 2019 Two legends of 20th century comedy, Denver’s hometown TV heroes, a cavalcade of Colorado comics and more are playing Colorado this month. John Wenzel, The Know, "Comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short are teaming up for 3 Front Range shows in July," 26 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cavalcade

Listen to Our Podcast about cavalcade

Statistics for cavalcade

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cavalcade

The first known use of cavalcade was in 1644

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cavalcade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cavalcade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cavalcade

Spanish Central: Translation of cavalcade

Nglish: Translation of cavalcade for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cavalcade

What made you want to look up cavalcade? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!