1 a : a procession of riders or carriages
b : a procession of vehicles or ships
2 : a dramatic sequence or procession : series
Did You Know?
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.
"Giant helium balloons, beautifully decorated, horse-drawn carriages and antique cars, along with uniformed cavalcades performing their routines, will thrill parade goers." — San Antonio Magazine, 22 Apr. 2016
"In the first video released by the PAC, a cavalcade of Hollywood's finest appear to underline the importance of voting in November's election. From 'Avengers' alumni Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson … to Julianne Moore, Keegan-Michael Key, … and many more …" — Libby Hill, The Los Angeles Times, 21 Sept. 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
What word is derived from Latin caballus and can refer to a mounted soldier or can describe an offhand or careless attitude?VIEW THE ANSWER
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