Main definitions of carny in English

: carny1carny2

carny1

(also carney)

noun

North American
informal
  • 1A carnival or funfair.

    ‘muscular carny men were dismantling the amusement park rides’
    ‘a carny atmosphere’
    • ‘After all these decades, he might have forgotten most of the routine he learned as a runaway teen traveling with the carny.’
    • ‘Many of the rides are either kid or adult-specific, and the park offers little by way of storytelling, wonder or art, with attractions that you can find in your local travelling carny.’
    • ‘Yep, went to three of them during the week, and they were all basically identical, like a very poor Western funfair - carneys the same the world over.’
    • ‘He leaves the carny in order to reach the big time, but his dreams are shattered by a careless performance in front of his first high-level audience.’
    • ‘Undeterred, Samson reinvents the carny into a religious revival show with Ben as the star attraction - a healer.’
    • ‘Usually, it was just me and a few others in the stands, or kids running around loose like animals at the carny.’
    • ‘Michaud had brought his 11-year-old son to the carny for an evening of bonding.’
    1. 1.1 A person who works in a carnival or funfair.
      • ‘I was shooting some video when the carny came over and inquired about the technical specifications of the camera.’
      • ‘In the park, the rides and the midway are quiet, the carnies and hawkers sleep the fitful sleep of those who have no permanent home.’
      • ‘I suggested calling the cops to one of the carnies.’
      • ‘But for now, everyone's waiting out the morning chill, as carnies check their rides, cowboys eye pens filled with bulls and broncs, and families wander about, talking quietly.’
      • ‘I was down the Great Ocean Road the other week, and the bustling township of Anglesea hosted a carnival - complete with dodgem cars, cheap soft toys and cigarette dangling carnies.’
      • ‘I laugh at these people the same way I would laugh at him if he tried to pass himself off as a carny.’
      • ‘The carny uses a different sort of design that ensures that no matter which loop you put your finger in, he can always win the bet.’
      • ‘‘Well, the ladies just love carnies,’ says the sword-swallowing, fire-eating Doc Swan.’
      • ‘At Rising Water, a game of skill, the carny announces, ‘another super-sized Scooby winner!’’
      • ‘As the story goes, these former Argentinian circus carneys came to Canada in search of a better life, while performing rousing renditions of classic rock ballads.’
      • ‘They want us to eat them happily, while the carnies con us into playing an impossible ring toss.’
      • ‘The idea of a much-married woman, Lee, bullying a family of misfits into being her slaves until she meets Smokey, a carny who runs a hell ride and may be the devil himself, is not without interest.’
      • ‘Sounds good, you say: but as you get locked into your seat you notice the carny at the controls has a wild diabolical glint in his eye.’

Pronunciation

carny

/ˈkɑːni/

Main definitions of carny in English

: carny1carny2

carny2

(also carney)

adjective

dialect, informal
  • Artful; sly.

    ‘Finley's carny approach to baseball’
    • ‘I've learned many a carny trick by listening but I've been sworn to secrecy.’

Origin

Late 19th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

carny

/ˈkɑːni/