mer·​ry-go-round ˈmer-ē-gō-ˌrau̇nd How to pronounce merry-go-round (audio)
: 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

: 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
: a cycle of activity that is complex, fast-paced, or difficult to break out of
the corporate merry-go-round

Examples of merry-go-round in a Sentence

weary of the daily merry-go-round of commuting to his job in the city
Recent Examples on the Web In the never-ending merry-go-round of trending dietary supplements (Buy charcoal to detox your body! Antara Sinha, Bon Appétit, 21 Mar. 2024 All together, these approaches make World Wide Whack perversely fun, a disorienting merry-go-round of despair and uplift, rather than a linear path to victory or failure. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 15 Mar. 2024 Built in 1909 by Charles I. D. Looff, who made the carousel for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk two years later, Spokane’s merry-go-round offers 54 horses, a giraffe, a tiger and two Chinese dragon chairs and, of course, a brass ring. Amber Turpin, The Mercury News, 4 Mar. 2024 Guests will also encounter fun elements throughout the experience, including an interactive gong; mischievous, giggling baby pandas; and oversized merry-go-round noodle bowls from Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop., 29 Feb. 2024 Dash past a merry-go-round in Los Feliz Walk, run or race a 5K or half-marathon on the main trails of Griffith Park. Michael Charboneau, Los Angeles Times, 29 Feb. 2024 And so, Ratcliffe and co. will be assessing managerial options heading into the summer, which promises to deliver a merry-go-round of head coaches given Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are all confirmed to be needing one. Liam Canning, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 And who doesn't love an old merry-go-round? October: Chiang Rai, Thailand The Golden Triangle region, where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet, used to be known for its opium trade. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2024 The party continued the following day with a festival-style event complete with a fairground of carnival games, a merry-go-round, a ferris wheel and food stalls at Windsor Great Park. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 14 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'merry-go-round.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1729, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near merry-go-round

Cite this Entry

“Merry-go-round.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a circular revolving platform fitted with seats and figures of animals on which people sit for a ride
: a rapid round of activities : whirl
a merry-go-round of parties

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