Definition of parade in English:



  • 1A public procession, especially one celebrating a special day or event.

    ‘a St George's Day parade’
    ‘the festival began with a parade of the competitors’
    • ‘We are collecting photographs of the festival as a record and for future publicity and are particularly seeking good ones of the lantern parade.’
    • ‘Prestwich Carnival at the weekend will hold a large parade and carnival in St Mary's Park and through Prestwich, which will be promoting green transport.’
    • ‘The parade will set off from Victoria Square at 2.35 pm to walk through the town centre towards Bolton Parish Church in Churchgate for a service at 3pm.’
    • ‘Dozens of people lined Salisbury Street in Amesbury to watch a parade from the car park to St Mary and St Melor Church.’
    • ‘The parade will set off from Albert Square at about 1pm this Sunday and wind its way to Chinatown for an afternoon of celebration.’
    • ‘I think my favourite part of the parade was seeing a five-year-old dressed as Minnie Mouse walk the complete route.’
    • ‘The parade arrived back in the square for the countdown to midnight and the new year was welcomed in with a magnificent display of fireworks, with young and old then wishing each other a happy new year.’
    • ‘Traditional Spanish dancers will be performing and a parade will start in the square on Saturday.’
    • ‘The parade will lead to the Market Place where Father Christmas will switch on the town's Christmas lights from the balcony of the Bear Hotel.’
    procession, march, cavalcade, motorcade, carcade, cortège, ceremony, spectacle, display, pageant, concours, file, train, column
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    1. 1.1 A formal march or gathering of troops for inspection or display.
      ‘a military parade’
      mass noun ‘the men massed for parade’
      • ‘‘When I saw the military in parades, I got a very patriotic feeling,’ she recalled.’
      • ‘There will be military parades, exhibitions, displays of more than 100 wartime vehicles and a D-Day battle scenario on Morecambe beach close to the lifeboat station.’
      • ‘Drills, physical exercises, bayonet exercises, inspections, schools, parades, marches, and reviews occupied the soldiers.’
      • ‘It was a grand affair, with troop parades, poems, songs, a feast and the unveiling of a trophy.’
      • ‘Militia units, particularly elite volunteer regiments, used the occasion to march in parades and display their military prowess and social standing.’
      • ‘The government sponsors civic and military parades for political holidays such as the Fourth of July and Constitution Day.’
      • ‘The crowd and live television audience were treated to a spectacular display of military parades, flypasts and parachutists.’
      • ‘Later that day his body was delivered to the Spanish Army in a formal military parade.’
      • ‘Cleland took his cine camera and filmed the army parade in Red Square, and was astonished not to be arrested.’
      • ‘National Day is more ceremonial, including military parades, cannonades, and a ‘Te Deum’ sung in the national cathedral.’
      • ‘Sir Charles Court, who was involved in ensuring a military presence in the region, inspected the parade and delivered an address to the gathering.’
      • ‘The band played traditional marches in a formal way for review parades and retreat formations.’
      • ‘The military parade, a colourful pageant with troops, armoured vehicles and aircraft roaring overhead, continued uninterrupted.’
      • ‘Government rallies, held around the country, include military parades and speeches.’
      • ‘After the inspection, the parade marched through the city centre with colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed.’
      • ‘Military parades and reviews, not surprisingly in a country ruled by a general, were an almost daily spectacle.’
      • ‘The troops do a ceremonial parade to mark the start of the proceedings.’
      • ‘Participating in the parade were visiting troops from Britain, France and St Vincent and the Grenadines.’
      • ‘The president salutes army troops during a military parade yesterday, during the final inspection before leaving office.’
      • ‘Civic events were enlivened by military parades and bands, while civil disorder was suppressed by troops acting in support of the gendarmerie, which was itself a branch of the armed forces.’
      procession, march, cavalcade, motorcade, carcade, cortège, ceremony, spectacle, display, pageant, concours, file, train, column
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    2. 1.2 A series of people or things appearing or being displayed one after the other.
      ‘the parade of Hollywood celebrities who troop on to his show’
      • ‘The exhibition also saw a parade of ethnic dresses for men, women and kids.’
      • ‘It was tough concentrating, because there on the pavement was a non-stop parade of women who appeared to be lifetime members of the What Not To Wear Club.’
      • ‘Of course, the world of sport has witnessed an endless parade of celebrities.’
      • ‘There are countless winks to the audience as a parade of stars appears in self-effacing cameos.’
      • ‘There was a parade of other celebrities - all of whom were featured in that US magazine.’
    3. 1.3 A boastful or ostentatious display.
      ‘a pompous parade of erudition’
      • ‘Jests against religion, sneers at the piety of the godly, irreverent and shocking swearing, and a boastful parade of the immoralities they have committed make up the conversation, I fear, of some circles.’
      • ‘Money and rank mean everything to Mr. Osborne, with his pompous parade of dull cynicism.’
      exhibition, show, display, performance, production, spectacle, demonstration
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  • 2British A public square or promenade.

    in place names ‘we were walking along South Parade’
    promenade, walk, walkway, esplanade, mall
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    1. 2.1 A row of shops.
      ‘a shopping parade’
      • ‘A giant community mural is the latest idea to perk up a shopping parade plagued by nuisance youths.’
      • ‘It wants to build a £15m supermarket on the site, together with a small parade of shops and an office development.’
      • ‘To support the team's work, Merton Council has arranged to clean graffiti free of charge from small shop parades.’
      • ‘The post office, which also sells toys, stationery and cards, is on a long parade of shops.’
      • ‘A little further away on Boroughbridge Road a very popular bakery closed and will now be demolished for flats, which seems a bit strange because it was part of a parade of shops.’
      shopping precinct, shopping complex, mall, shopping mall, arcade, shopping arcade, galleria, shopping parade
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  • 3A parade ground.

    • ‘I think that one of the most telling images of the queen was that three days later, she was going down the Mall in an open carriage to Horse Guards parade just as she would have done.’
    • ‘They filled the parade square of Howe Barracks as the soldiers arrived by coach from nearby Manston Airport where they had touched down a couple of hours earlier after flying from Kuwait via Cyprus.’
    • ‘He was really funny, but laughing was forbidden on the parade square.’


  • 1no object (of troops) assemble for a formal inspection or ceremonial occasion.

    ‘the recruits were due to parade that day’
    1. 1.1 Walk or march through a public place in a formal procession or in an ostentatious way.
      ‘officers will parade through the town centre’
      with object ‘carefree young men were parading the streets’
      • ‘Eight uniformed servicemen will parade on a float as part of the procession this weekend, and a mobile recruiting office is to be set up.’
      • ‘Almost the entire crew of 250 officers and men will parade through York on Friday morning to exercise their right of Freedom of the City.’
      • ‘The sight and sound of predominately young males parading around the county with stereos thumping and large exhausts growling is a growing nuisance.’
      • ‘The young man paraded about, stripping off his shirt to display his ostensible wounds to the police and passers-by.’
      • ‘The thought of parading himself in public like that was not entirely to his taste, but he knew that it was necessary if he was going to be elected.’
      • ‘Where once hundreds of US airmen paraded, police officers from Scotland's seven forces now patrol.’
      • ‘Municipal councilors, government employees and the general public then paraded around town to welcome in the Thai New Year.’
      • ‘Three of the ladies arrived late but were allowed to parade, slotted between the procession of kings.’
      • ‘My mother would often parade in public places with me whenever she would go out and I was not doing anything at home.’
      • ‘Impossibly beautiful girls are parading down the Promenade des Anglais, hurling bright sprays of Mimosa to a boisterous crowd.’
      • ‘Those who dislike any form of martial mimicry or organised religion do not want to see their children parading and marching to church in uniform.’
      • ‘Up to 94 workers from both plants paraded to City Hall before the meeting.’
      march, process, file, troop, go in columns, pass in formation, promenade
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  • 2with object Display (someone or something) while marching or moving around a place.

    ‘they paraded national flags’
    • ‘They chased a now fully-clothed offender, nabbed him and marched him back over the fence and paraded him past the crowd in the Merv Cowan stand.’
    • ‘The thought of Nina clinging to Scott's arm and parading him all over school for the rest of the day made a wave of nausea sweep over me.’
    • ‘The stadium staged its first meeting on July 30, 1932, when legendary greyhound Mick the Miller was paraded around the track.’
    1. 2.1 Display (something) in order to impress or attract attention.
      ‘he paraded his knowledge’
      • ‘For the first time inflatables were included in the colourful procession with one band parading a 20 ft blow-up star!’
      • ‘They become immediately boring when they deteriorate into merely parading their ‘knowledge’.’
      • ‘The King paraded his army, hoping to impress and perhaps intimidate.’
      • ‘They will be strutting down the beaches of Ibiza parading the latest designer gear.’
      • ‘An estimated 750,000 people lined London's streets to pay tribute to his victorious team as it paraded the trophy on an open-topped bus tour of the capital.’
      • ‘Domed ceilings, Georgian columns and plunging chandeliers exude palatial grandeur, an impression enhanced by the amount of jewellery paraded by Glasgow's glitterati.’
      • ‘The university students swagger down here as though it were a catwalk, parading their Parisian clothes.’
      display, exhibit, make a show of, flaunt, show, show off, demonstrate, draw attention to, air
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    2. 2.2parade asno object Appear falsely as; masquerade as.
      ‘these untruths parading as history’
      • ‘Modern Hopis and Navajos parade as hoary traditionalists, rightful stewards by ancestral occupance.’
      • ‘He gets to parade as some sort of political saint, promote his DVD, and put pressure on the Academy to nominate him for Best Picture!’
      • ‘Most CEOs tend to think of innovation as no more than R&D, and ‘the same distortion occurs when creativity is paraded as innovation,’ say Bubner.’
      • ‘Complaints reportedly focused on the opening ceremony, in which more than 56 million Americans watched a man in a full bodysuit parade as a naked statue of Eros, the Greek god of love.’
      • ‘Handsome, dashing even, a family man, he was paraded as a goodwill ambassador as everything that America wasn't.’


  • on parade

    • 1Taking part in a parade.

      ‘the men of the company stood on parade’
      • ‘The parade saw more than 1,500 reservists on parade watched by an audience of several thousand in the Horse Guards arena.’
      • ‘The dispute took its toll on the state opening of parliament with the number of troops on parade halved yesterday to 520 as soldiers were deployed on fire duties.’
      • ‘After the banner was marched into position on the parade ground, the four full guards on parade fired volleys in the ripple-effect drill movement known as Fieu de Joie or Joy of Sound.’
      • ‘A flag-raising ritual and presentation of wreaths were held to mark the occasion while the members of the 28th Infantry Battalion performed military drills on parade.’
      • ‘The recruits are on parade in their billet.’
      1. 1.1On public display.
        ‘politicians are always on parade’
        • ‘A total of six elephants broke free from their handlers while they were on parade at an amusement park.’
        • ‘Weather conditions were ideal and crowds of people lined the streets to watch the various floats on parade and enjoy the singing, dancing and entertainment.’
        • ‘The climax is heavy handed with Christ-like poses and other vignettes of human misery on parade.’
        • ‘Homesewn designs of the new millennium have been on parade this week in the four-day Bulgarian Fashion Forum which closes tonight.’
        • ‘When the Secretary of State is asleep, on holiday, or feels that this is not a moment of maximum advantage, then the lower ranks are on parade.’


Mid 17th century: from French, literally ‘a showing’, from Spanish parada and Italian parata, based on Latin parare ‘prepare, furnish’.