Definition of carnival in English:


Line breaks: car¦ni|val
Pronunciation: /ˈkɑːnɪv(ə)l


  • 1An annual festival, typically during the week before Lent in Roman Catholic countries, involving processions, music, dancing, and the use of masquerade: [as modifier]: a carnival parade
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • Each year the carnival procession parades through the centre of Calne starting from the Porte Marsh Industrial Estate.
    festival, fiesta, fete, gala, jamboree, holiday, celebration, party; parade, procession, march, tattoo
  • 1.1An exciting or riotous mixture of elements: the film is a visual and aural carnival
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • But there is no comfort in a continuously constructed carnival of bands and opera singers.
  • 2North American A travelling funfair or circus: he worked at a carnival, climbing Ferris wheels and working 18-hour days
    More example sentences
    • As a result, Truzzi was intrigued by magic, juggling, sideshows, carnivals, and circuses.
    • In the back of the book was a section about the foods invented at fairs, circuses and carnivals.
    • Zoos have been around for hundreds of years, the first ones being like freak shows attached to carnivals and circuses.
    funfair, circus, fair, amusement show, sideshows



Pronunciation: /-ˈlɛsk/
More example sentences
  • In one carnivalesque scene the peasants return to their abandoned village to find their clothes piled up, sorted by colour; they throw them orgiastically into the air, choosing what they will - their collective property.
  • Bodily transformations, plastic surgery, mutation and cloning are some of the themes choreographer/dancer Carole Courtois touches upon in her carnivalesque production Vacuum.
  • Never since has there been a more gorgeous depiction of Rome in all its carnivalesque glory, even though at the time it was unusual to shoot an entire production on location.


mid 16th century: from Italian carnevale, carnovale, from medieval Latin carnelevamen, carnelevarium 'Shrovetide', from Latin caro, carn- 'flesh' + levare 'put away'.

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