Definition of carnival in English:

carnival

noun

  • 1A period of public revelry at a regular time each year, 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’
    ‘Mardi Gras is the last day of carnival’
    as modifier ‘a carnival parade’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Later in the afternoon the golden jubilee festival carnival and procession takes place in The Mall.’
    • ‘There was a real party atmosphere in Melksham at the weekend as the town celebrated its annual carnival.’
    • ‘The August bank holiday weekend will see Durrow host its annual carnival.’
    • ‘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 boxes will be used to collect cash for charities and organisations taking part in the carnival procession.’
    • ‘Festival fever will hit Durrow this August Bank Holiday weekend when the annual carnival takes place.’
    • ‘The village will be busy with range of events, culminating with the carnival fête and procession on June 26.’
    • ‘Each year the carnival procession parades through the centre of Calne starting from the Porte Marsh Industrial Estate.’
    • ‘Youngsters dressed up and filled the streets of Guiseley for the annual carnival parade at the weekend.’
    • ‘Unless there is more public support the annual carnival procession in Marlborough could disappear.’
    • ‘Devizes was alive with colour and music as the carnival procession wound its way through the town on Saturday.’
    • ‘Bromham was awash with colourful floats and costumes as residents celebrated in the carnival procession on Saturday.’
    • ‘More than 3000 men, women, children and dogs joined the carnival procession as it weaved through Edinburgh's city centre.’
    • ‘The town of Binche is famous for its carnival festivities in the weeks before Lent.’
    • ‘The festival will begin with a carnival parade setting off from Main Road.’
    • ‘On Saturday, September 4, the carnival procession will leave from the Green at 6pm.’
    • ‘Thousands of visitors are expected to head for Devizes on Monday for the free carnival street festival’
    • ‘Threatening storms stayed away until the end of the carnival procession when those on the floats and spectators heading home were drenched.’
    festival, fiesta, fete, gala, jamboree, holiday, celebration, party
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A public event or celebration, typically held outdoors and offering entertainment and exhibitions.
      ‘he helped judge the ice-sculpture contest at the college's winter carnival’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Shop assistant Jeanette, from Accrington, was a former beauty queen who clinched two local carnival titles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She is involved with the Women's Institute, the local memorial hall, local schools, the local carnival and is a church warden.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 An exciting or riotous mixture of something.
      ‘the whole evening was a carnival of fun’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Here, the web of linguistic and visual signs returns the viewer to the terrain of the carnival.’
  • 2North American A traveling amusement show or circus.

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

/ˈkɑrnəvəl//ˈkärnəvəl/