Share this entry

Share this page

Mardi Gras

Syllabification: Mar·di Gras
Pronunciation: /ˈmärdē ˌɡrä
 
/

Definition of Mardi Gras in English:

noun

A carnival held in some countries on Shrove Tuesday, most famously in New Orleans.
Example sentences
  • Yes, Virginia, there will be a Mardi Gras in New Orleans in 2006.
  • The loping interplay of euphonium, trumpet, sax and trombone on ‘Segala’, and the glorious swagger of Oblemou wouldn't sound out of place at a Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
  • The museum stocks stuff like the necklace Britney wore in a Mardi Gras parade and two dresses from her Star Search days.

Origin

French, literally 'fat Tuesday', alluding to the last day of feasting before the fast and penitence of Lent.

More
  • shrift from (Old English):

    To give someone short shrift is to treat them in a curt and dismissive way. The phrase originally referred to the short time that a condemned criminal was allowed to make their confession to a priest and be shriven, prescribed a penance, and absolved of their sins, before being executed. Its first use in the literal sense comes in Shakespeare's Richard III: ‘Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.’ The Shrove in Shrove Tuesday is a form of shriven. As the day before the start of Lent, it is marked by feasting and celebration before the Lent fast begins. In Britain people eat pancakes on the day, giving the alternative name Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday. Other countries celebrate it as the carnival of Mardi Gras, French for ‘Fat Tuesday’. See also carnival

Definition of Mardi Gras in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something