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’
    • ‘The boxes will be used to collect cash for charities and organisations taking part in the carnival procession.’
    • ‘Threatening storms stayed away until the end of the carnival procession when those on the floats and spectators heading home were drenched.’
    • ‘Unless there is more public support the annual carnival procession in Marlborough could disappear.’
    • ‘Bromham was awash with colourful floats and costumes as residents celebrated in the carnival procession on Saturday.’
    • ‘There was a real party atmosphere in Melksham at the weekend as the town celebrated its annual carnival.’
    • ‘More than 3000 men, women, children and dogs joined the carnival procession as it weaved through Edinburgh's city centre.’
    • ‘Each year the carnival procession parades through the centre of Calne starting from the Porte Marsh Industrial Estate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The August bank holiday weekend will see Durrow host its annual carnival.’
    • ‘Devizes was alive with colour and music as the carnival procession wound its way through the town on Saturday.’
    • ‘The town of Binche is famous for its carnival festivities in the weeks before Lent.’
    • ‘Youngsters dressed up and filled the streets of Guiseley for the annual carnival parade at the weekend.’
    • ‘Later in the afternoon the golden jubilee festival carnival and procession takes place in The Mall.’
    • ‘Thousands of visitors are expected to head for Devizes on Monday for the free carnival street festival’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On Saturday, September 4, the carnival procession will leave from the Green at 6pm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dragons, banners, large flowers and other willow objects will be created in the workshops to use in the carnival procession.’
    • ‘The village will be busy with range of events, culminating with the carnival fête and procession on June 26.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Shop assistant Jeanette, from Accrington, was a former beauty queen who clinched two local carnival titles.’
      • ‘She is involved with the Women's Institute, the local memorial hall, local schools, the local carnival and is a church warden.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On the carnival yours truly has a modest little stall.’
      • ‘Having flexible hours enables her to attend the odd school carnival.’
      • ‘The spectacle attracted thousands of tourists to the town as the local carnival queen—or "Flower Queen", as she was known—led the parade.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 An exciting or riotous mixture of elements.
      ‘the film is a visual and aural carnival’
      • ‘One of the more exciting developments in weblogging has been the proliferation of carnivals.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2North American A travelling funfair or circus.

    ‘he worked at a carnival, climbing Ferris wheels and working 18-hour days’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ever noticed the remarkable similarity between these fairs and traveling roadside carnivals.’
    • ‘As a result, Truzzi was intrigued by magic, juggling, sideshows, carnivals, and circuses.’
    • ‘After all they have been used to host carnivals and circuses.’
    • ‘He later returned to England, where in poverty he was forced to sell his tattooed face in a travelling carnival.’
    • ‘In the back of the book was a section about the foods invented at fairs, circuses and carnivals.’
    • ‘In the case of carnivals, world fairs, and freak shows, the promotion of human oddities relied on meticulously crafted public personas.’
    • ‘Diane Arbus traveled about, seeking out the inhabitants of carnivals, nudist camps, and mental hospitals and asking them to look straight into her camera.’
    • ‘You know, there's one of those travelling carnivals coming to town this weekend, and he said he would take me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mom's favorite brother, Uncle George, arrives in town with his traveling carnival.’
    • ‘In fact, the church has never been able to compete with the carnival or circus in delivering fun to the folks in the pew.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It conjures up old reveries of carnivals and roadside zoos, sideshows and state fairs - huge tents fetid with the sweet stench of anticipation.’
    • ‘It was a different business then, more of a travelling carnival, and he didn't encourage his son.’
    • ‘Zoos have been around for hundreds of years, the first ones being like freak shows attached to carnivals and circuses.’
    • ‘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/