Definition of festal in English:



  • Of, like, or relating to a celebration or festival.

    ‘he appeared in festal array’
    • ‘But such a view, it becomes clear, is only a semblance, since outside of carnival time's hope and progress, hardship contradicts festal joy.’
    • ‘Yet, those brief hints do not tell us what we would dearly like to know: how the daily and festal ritual of sacrifice was carried out.’
    • ‘And the whole celebration will be rounded off at 6pm with a festal Eucharist in the parish church.’
    • ‘This suggests that - as in the case of meat - olive oil may have been a fairly regular element of Bronze Age festal and other diets.’
    • ‘Galleries flank the terrace, and on festal days in summer the whole can be thrown open for large receptions.’
    • ‘There is no more melancholy spectacle than a festal hall, the morning after the banquet, when the guests have departed and the lights are extinguished.’
    • ‘Wallace guides preachers in linking their sermons to the festal, pastoral, and sanctoral calendar by connecting these liturgical occasions with three human ‘hungers.’’
    • ‘Furthermore, in his discussion of the Ta series from Pylos, he observes that the inventorying of festal equipment fell under the purview of one of the most important scribes.’
    • ‘Dr David Hope praised the Queen's ‘unstinting service, profound wisdom and unswerving faith’ during her 50-year reign at a special festal evensong at York Minster.’
    • ‘Stubbings is a previous Master of the Music and Missa Stella Splendens is a festal congregational communion setting.’
    • ‘He built hospitals and buildings for several universities, and (in more festal mood) the heraldic gates of San Marino, the strange little independent republic not far from Urbino.’
    • ‘Christian worship may be assumed to have been a matter of ritual from the start, because of its roots in Temple worship, common festal meals, and the baptismal practice of Jesus and John.’
    • ‘Various on-site locations are unique loci of festal carnality.’
    • ‘The orgiastic reaches a licentious, contagious and unrestrainable climax in the festal - those moments occasioning transgressions of imposed morality.’
    • ‘Barton suggests that an Anglican bishop finds it in the festal cycle culminating in Holy Week, while the Methodist finds it in preaching.’
    • ‘In the congregation assembled for worship, these two movements meet, and the heavenly angels join the children of God in festal celebration.’
    • ‘Maisie received in petrification the full force of her mother's huge and painted eyes-they were like Japanese lanterns swung under festal arches.’
    • ‘Coste's only claim to attention is that his other anthem, Save me 0 God, picked up what has proved to be an adhesive attribution to Byrd, having been confused with Byrd's festal psalm of the same title.’
    • ‘In the festal throng, the mixed noises and movement bring Tito into the carnival spirit of human joyful becoming where his personal anxieties are excluded.’
    jolly, merry, joyous, joyful, happy, jovial, light-hearted, cheerful, cheery, jubilant, convivial, good-time, high-spirited, gleeful, mirthful, uproarious, rollicking, backslapping, hilarious
    View synonyms


Late 15th century: via Old French from late Latin festalis, from Latin festum, (plural) festa ‘feast’.