Definition of carnival in English:

carnival

noun

  • 1An annual festival, typically during the week before Lent in Roman Catholic countries, involving processions, music, dancing, and the use of masquerade:

    ‘the culmination of the week-long carnival’
    [mass noun] ‘Mardi Gras is the last day of carnival’
    [as modifier] ‘a carnival parade’
    • ‘Bromham was awash with colourful floats and costumes as residents celebrated in the carnival procession on Saturday.’
    • ‘All eyes were on the sky over Pewsey on Saturday as rain poured down just hours before the annual carnival parade was due to start.’
    • ‘Youngsters dressed up and filled the streets of Guiseley for the annual carnival parade at the weekend.’
    • ‘Thousands of visitors are expected to head for Devizes on Monday for the free carnival street festival’
    • ‘More than 3000 men, women, children and dogs joined the carnival procession as it weaved through Edinburgh's city centre.’
    • ‘The village will be busy with range of events, culminating with the carnival fête and procession on June 26.’
    • ‘On Saturday, September 4, the carnival procession will leave from the Green at 6pm.’
    • ‘Dragons, banners, large flowers and other willow objects will be created in the workshops to use in the carnival procession.’
    • ‘The sun also came out as the procession of floats wound its way to the carnival field and then paraded through the town on Saturday.’
    • ‘Each year the carnival procession parades through the centre of Calne starting from the Porte Marsh Industrial Estate.’
    • ‘The August bank holiday weekend will see Durrow host its annual carnival.’
    • ‘The festival will begin with a carnival parade setting off from Main Road.’
    • ‘Festival fever will hit Durrow this August Bank Holiday weekend when the annual carnival takes place.’
    • ‘Threatening storms stayed away until the end of the carnival procession when those on the floats and spectators heading home were drenched.’
    • ‘The boxes will be used to collect cash for charities and organisations taking part in the carnival procession.’
    • ‘The town of Binche is famous for its carnival festivities in the weeks before Lent.’
    • ‘Later in the afternoon the golden jubilee festival carnival and procession takes place in The Mall.’
    • ‘Unless there is more public support the annual carnival procession in Marlborough could disappear.’
    • ‘There was a real party atmosphere in Melksham at the weekend as the town celebrated its annual carnival.’
    • ‘Devizes was alive with colour and music as the carnival procession wound its way through the town on Saturday.’
    festival, fiesta, fete, gala, jamboree, holiday, celebration, party
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A public event or celebration, typically held outdoors and involving stalls, entertainment, and processions:
      ‘children from Wroughton are getting ready for the village carnival’
      • ‘The branch ran two stalls at the local carnival, raising about £400 for funds.’
      • ‘Far North Coast athletes have few opportunities to test themselves in competition outside of the traditional school carnivals.’
      • ‘We have been present at a number of local carnivals during the summer, set up several stalls in and around the city centre, and sponsor the Junior Football League.’
      • ‘Shop assistant Jeanette, from Accrington, was a former beauty queen who clinched two local carnival titles.’
      • ‘The spectacle attracted thousands of tourists to the town as the local carnival queen—or "Flower Queen", as she was known—led the parade.’
      • ‘She is involved with the Women's Institute, the local memorial hall, local schools, the local carnival and is a church warden.’
      • ‘Way back in March our local carnival float committee decided on its theme of 'Ashes Fever', anticipating a heady summer of cricket, with a Jack Russell dressed in whites on the float.’
      • ‘Having flexible hours enables her to attend the odd school carnival.’
      • ‘On the carnival yours truly has a modest little stall.’
      • ‘Ron and Eileen were born in the same maternity unit, posed as "bride and groom" at a town carnival aged four, married for real at 21 and now, 70 years later, are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary.’
    2. 1.2 An exciting or riotous mixture of elements:
      ‘the film is a visual and aural carnival’
      • ‘Here, the web of linguistic and visual signs returns the viewer to the terrain of the carnival.’
      • ‘But there is no comfort in a continuously constructed carnival of bands and opera singers.’
      • ‘One of the more exciting developments in weblogging has been the proliferation of carnivals.’
  • 2North American A travelling funfair or circus:

    ‘he worked at a carnival, climbing Ferris wheels and working 18-hour days’
    • ‘Mom's favorite brother, Uncle George, arrives in town with his traveling carnival.’
    • ‘At various times he has told us that he ran away from school to join a carnival, was descended from Sioux Indians, was an orphan and had been a hobo.’
    • ‘As an eager visitor to amusement parks, theme parks, carnivals, and state fairs of all magnitude, I was used to all manners of muzak being piped to all corners of the festival grounds.’
    • ‘As a result, Truzzi was intrigued by magic, juggling, sideshows, carnivals, and circuses.’
    • ‘He later returned to England, where in poverty he was forced to sell his tattooed face in a travelling carnival.’
    • ‘Zoos have been around for hundreds of years, the first ones being like freak shows attached to carnivals and circuses.’
    • ‘Diane Arbus traveled about, seeking out the inhabitants of carnivals, nudist camps, and mental hospitals and asking them to look straight into her camera.’
    • ‘Mark Svenvold has retraced McCurdy's life, death and eventful afterlife in a fascinating tale of the macabre under-belly of American sideshows and carnivals.’
    • ‘After all they have been used to host carnivals and circuses.’
    • ‘A true oddity, it's a film about some twisted racketeers involved with a travelling carnival.’
    • ‘One young woman described spending several years traveling intermittently with various carnivals.’
    • ‘It conjures up old reveries of carnivals and roadside zoos, sideshows and state fairs - huge tents fetid with the sweet stench of anticipation.’
    • ‘In fact, the church has never been able to compete with the carnival or circus in delivering fun to the folks in the pew.’
    • ‘In the back of the book was a section about the foods invented at fairs, circuses and carnivals.’
    • ‘You know, there's one of those travelling carnivals coming to town this weekend, and he said he would take me.’
    • ‘In the case of carnivals, world fairs, and freak shows, the promotion of human oddities relied on meticulously crafted public personas.’
    • ‘Ever noticed the remarkable similarity between these fairs and traveling roadside carnivals.’
    • ‘It was a different business then, more of a travelling carnival, and he didn't encourage his son.’
    • ‘He has had a varied employment history including factory work and a job travelling with a carnival.’
    funfair, circus, fair, amusement show, sideshows
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: from Italian carnevale, carnovale, from medieval Latin carnelevamen, carnelevarium Shrovetide, from Latin caro, carn- flesh + levare put away.

Pronunciation:

carnival

/ˈkɑːnɪv(ə)l/