Definition of parade in US English:



  • 1A public procession, especially one celebrating a special day or event and including marching bands and floats.

    • ‘I think my favourite part of the parade was seeing a five-year-old dressed as Minnie Mouse walk the complete route.’
    • ‘Traditional Spanish dancers will be performing and a parade will start in the square on Saturday.’
    • ‘The parade will set off from Albert Square at about 1pm this Sunday and wind its way to Chinatown for an afternoon of celebration.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 lead to the Market Place where Father Christmas will switch on the town's Christmas lights from the balcony of the Bear Hotel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are collecting photographs of the festival as a record and for future publicity and are particularly seeking good ones of the lantern parade.’
    procession, march, cavalcade, motorcade, carcade, cortège, ceremony, spectacle, display, pageant, concours, file, train, column
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A formal march or gathering of troops for inspection or display.
      • ‘The president salutes army troops during a military parade yesterday, during the final inspection before leaving office.’
      • ‘The troops do a ceremonial parade to mark the start of the proceedings.’
      • ‘The crowd and live television audience were treated to a spectacular display of military parades, flypasts and parachutists.’
      • ‘Military parades and reviews, not surprisingly in a country ruled by a general, were an almost daily spectacle.’
      • ‘Participating in the parade were visiting troops from Britain, France and St Vincent and the Grenadines.’
      • ‘Drills, physical exercises, bayonet exercises, inspections, schools, parades, marches, and reviews occupied the soldiers.’
      • ‘Militia units, particularly elite volunteer regiments, used the occasion to march in parades and display their military prowess and social standing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Later that day his body was delivered to the Spanish Army in a formal military parade.’
      • ‘Sir Charles Court, who was involved in ensuring a military presence in the region, inspected the parade and delivered an address to the gathering.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was a grand affair, with troop parades, poems, songs, a feast and the unveiling of a trophy.’
      • ‘Government rallies, held around the country, include military parades and speeches.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The government sponsors civic and military parades for political holidays such as the Fourth of July and Constitution Day.’
      • ‘‘When I saw the military in parades, I got a very patriotic feeling,’ she recalled.’
      • ‘After the inspection, the parade marched through the city centre with colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed.’
      • ‘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.’
      procession, march, cavalcade, motorcade, carcade, cortège, ceremony, spectacle, display, pageant, concours, file, train, column
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A series of people or things appearing or being displayed one after the other.
      ‘the parade of Hollywood celebrities who troop onto his show’
      • ‘There was a parade of other celebrities - all of whom were featured in that US magazine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The exhibition also saw a parade of ethnic dresses for men, women and kids.’
      • ‘There are countless winks to the audience as a parade of stars appears in self-effacing cameos.’
      • ‘Of course, the world of sport has witnessed an endless parade of celebrities.’
    3. 1.3 A boastful or ostentatious display.
      ‘the parade of lunacy and corruption will continue’
      • ‘Money and rank mean everything to Mr. Osborne, with his pompous parade of dull cynicism.’
      • ‘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.’
      exhibition, show, display, performance, production, spectacle, demonstration
      View synonyms
  • 2British A public square or promenade.

    promenade, walk, walkway, esplanade, mall
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A row of stores.
      ‘a shopping parade’
      • ‘It wants to build a £15m supermarket on the site, together with a small parade of shops and an office development.’
      • ‘A giant community mural is the latest idea to perk up a shopping parade plagued by nuisance youths.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      shopping precinct, shopping complex, mall, shopping mall, arcade, shopping arcade, galleria, shopping parade
      View synonyms
  • 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.’
    • ‘He was really funny, but laughing was forbidden on the parade square.’
    • ‘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.’


  • 1Walk or march in public in a formal procession or in an ostentatious or attention-seeking way.

    no object ‘officers will parade through the town center’
    with object ‘carefree young men were parading the streets’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘The sight and sound of predominately young males parading around the county with stereos thumping and large exhausts growling is a growing nuisance.’
    • ‘Municipal councilors, government employees and the general public then paraded around town to welcome in the Thai New Year.’
    • ‘The young man paraded about, stripping off his shirt to display his ostensible wounds to the police and passers-by.’
    • ‘Up to 94 workers from both plants paraded to City Hall before the meeting.’
    • ‘Where once hundreds of US airmen paraded, police officers from Scotland's seven forces now patrol.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My mother would often parade in public places with me whenever she would go out and I was not doing anything at home.’
    • ‘Three of the ladies arrived late but were allowed to parade, slotted between the procession of kings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Impossibly beautiful girls are parading down the Promenade des Anglais, hurling bright sprays of Mimosa to a boisterous crowd.’
    march, process, file, troop, go in columns, pass in formation, promenade
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Display (someone or something) while marching or moving around a place.
      ‘guards dragged him from his home and paraded him through the streets’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 stadium staged its first meeting on July 30, 1932, when legendary greyhound Mick the Miller was paraded around the track.’
    2. 1.2with object Display (something) publicly in order to impress or attract attention.
      ‘he paraded his knowledge’
      • ‘Domed ceilings, Georgian columns and plunging chandeliers exude palatial grandeur, an impression enhanced by the amount of jewellery paraded by Glasgow's glitterati.’
      • ‘They become immediately boring when they deteriorate into merely parading their ‘knowledge’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The King paraded his army, hoping to impress and perhaps intimidate.’
      • ‘The university students swagger down here as though it were a catwalk, parading their Parisian clothes.’
      • ‘They will be strutting down the beaches of Ibiza parading the latest designer gear.’
      • ‘For the first time inflatables were included in the colourful procession with one band parading a 20 ft blow-up star!’
      display, exhibit, make a show of, flaunt, show, show off, demonstrate, draw attention to, air
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3parade as Appear falsely as; masquerade as.
      ‘these untruths parading as history’
      • ‘Handsome, dashing even, a family man, he was paraded as a goodwill ambassador as everything that America wasn't.’
      • ‘Modern Hopis and Navajos parade as hoary traditionalists, rightful stewards by ancestral occupance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4 (of troops) assemble for a formal inspection or ceremonial occasion.
      ‘the recruits were due to parade that day’


  • on parade

    • 1Taking part in a parade.

      • ‘The parade saw more than 1,500 reservists on parade watched by an audience of several thousand in the Horse Guards arena.’
      • ‘The recruits are on parade in their billet.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      1. 1.1On public display.
        ‘politicians are always on parade’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Homesewn designs of the new millennium have been on parade this week in the four-day Bulgarian Fashion Forum which closes tonight.’
        • ‘A total of six elephants broke free from their handlers while they were on parade at an amusement park.’
        • ‘The climax is heavy handed with Christ-like poses and other vignettes of human misery on parade.’
        • ‘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’.