mer·​ry-go-round | \ ˈmer-ē-gō-ˌrau̇nd How to pronounce merry-go-round (audio) , -gə- \

Definition of merry-go-round

1a : an amusement park ride with seats often in the form of animals (such as horses) revolving about a fixed center The children grabbed each other by the hand and danced off in the direction of the merry-go-round, toward the wonderful music and the wonderful adventure and the wonderful excitement …— E. B. White

called also carousel

b : a children's playground apparatus consisting of a platform that revolves about a fixed center And every day at recess, Reuben would push us on the merry-go-round on the playground. He would push us really fast, and we all thought Reuben made recess great fun—as long as we held on tight and didn't fall off as we whirled around.— Terri Auchter
2 : a cycle of activity that is complex, fast-paced, or difficult to break out of the corporate merry-go-round

Synonyms for merry-go-round


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First Known Use of merry-go-round

1729, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for merry-go-round

Time Traveler

The first known use of merry-go-round was in 1729

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Dictionary Entries Near merry-go-round

Merry Christmas



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Cite this Entry

“Merry-go-round.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of merry-go-round

: a large round platform that turns around in a circle and has seats and figures of animals (such as horses) on which children sit for a ride
: a set or series of repeated activities that are quick, confusing, or difficult to leave


mer·​ry-go-round | \ ˈmer-ē-gō-ˌrau̇nd \

Kids Definition of merry-go-round

: a round platform that spins and has seats and figures of animals on which people sit for a ride

More from Merriam-Webster on merry-go-round

Nglish: Translation of merry-go-round for Spanish Speakers


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