fes·ti·val | \ ˈfe-stə-vəl \

Definition of festival 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, appropriate to, or set apart as a festival



Definition of festival (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a time of celebration marked by special observances

b : feast sense 2

2 : an often periodic celebration or program of events or entertainment having a specified focus a daffodil festival a Greek festival

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Synonyms for festival

Synonyms: Noun

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

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Examples of festival in a Sentence


Each year, a festival was held to celebrate the harvest. The town has a summer festival in the park.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Lauryn Hill’s only festival appearance) and the idiosyncratic synth-pop stylings of Blood Orange, whose only other fest is Osheaga, across the border in Montreal. Billboard, "A Guide to Planning Summer Music Festival Season 2018," 2 June 2018 The jury president swept through the party while festival head Theirry Fremaux was spotted taking selfies. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Cannes: Cate Blanchett Fetes the HFPA at Beachside Bash," 14 May 2018 From 24 concerts reported to Billboard Boxscore for LCD Soundsystem since the beginning of 2016, the performances -- aside from festival appearances -- are averaging a gross of about $200,000 per show from primarily theater-sized venues. Bob Allen, Billboard, "LCD Soundsystem Scores on Hot Tours Tally With Fall Run," 11 Jan. 2018 The song itself, a brilliant and controversial standout from his new album, isn't exactly festival material. Matt Miller, Esquire, "Jay-Z Made a Powerful Statement During His Meadows Performance," 16 Sep. 2017 Festival space is located at Broad Street at Farm Road 157/Main Street. Faye Reeder, star-telegram, "Open house will show how Arlington Charities fights hunger, poverty," 30 Aug. 2017 Festival tickets start at $55, mountangelabbey.org/bach or 503-845-3064. Amy Wang, OregonLive.com, "7 arts picks: 'Snow White,' Minor White, opera concert for MAX victims, more," 20 July 2017 U2 is currently touring in support of the album's 30th anniversary and Bonnaroo was the Irish band’s first-ever U.S. festival appearance. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Bonnaroo's Attendance Bounces Back With 65K Turning Out For U2, Weeknd: Exclusive," 12 June 2017 Festival audiences can do funny things to, and for, what's actually on the screen. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'The Big Sick' review: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan are the medicine we need now," 29 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The CW Network will also exclusively live-stream both nights of the festival via CWTV.com and The CW App. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Childish Gambino Added to 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival Lineup," 11 July 2018 The live-music destination hosted the Farm Aid benefit in 2001 as well as the opening date of Lollapalooza in 2003 — the final touring edition of the festival now identified with Chicago. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 Forest Park resident Jason Maxham said of the festival. Karie Angell Luc, chicagotribune.com, "'It lifts you right up to heaven': Gulyas tradition continues in Norridge," 9 July 2018 And that is a major part of the festival: Performers on the outdoor stage sang about faith as church brochures were handed out at certain booths. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "God and Country Festival is not just faith. It's about second chances, tattoos and kung fu.," 26 June 2018 Aside from being the day of the festival, Saturday is not just any mow-the-lawn Saturday. Blaine Friedlander, Washington Post, "Space nerds, mark your calendar — Astronomy night on the Mall is Saturday," 20 June 2018 The remainder of the two-day festival has been canceled. Bloomberg.com, "Gunfire Erupts At New Jersey Arts Festival; 22 Wounded," 17 June 2018 Art All Night has cancelled the remainder of the festival, according to a Facebook post from Sunday evening. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Shooting at New Jersey Arts Festival Leaves 22 Injured," 17 June 2018 The remainder of the two-day festival has been canceled. CBS News, "1 dead, 22 injured in shooting at New Jersey's Art All Night festival," 17 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for festival


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin festivus festive

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Time Traveler for festival

The first known use of festival was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of festival

: a special time or event when people gather to celebrate something

: an organized series of performances


fes·ti·val | \ ˈfe-stə-vəl \

Kids Definition of festival

1 : a time or event of celebration a harvest festival

2 : a program of cultural events or entertainment a jazz festival

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Comments on festival

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an open space surrounded by woods

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