Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

[mahr-dee grah, grah]
noun
1.
the day before Lent, celebrated in some cities, as New Orleans and Paris, as a day of carnival and merrymaking; Shrove Tuesday.
2.
a pre-Lenten carnival period climaxing on this day.

Origin:
1690–1700; < French: literally, fat Tuesday

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Collins
World English Dictionary
Mardi Gras (ˈmɑːdɪ ˈɡrɑː)
 
n
the festival of Shrove Tuesday, celebrated in some cities with great revelry
 
[French: fat Tuesday]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Mardi gras
1699, from Fr., lit. "fat Tuesday," from mardi "Tuesday" (from L. Martis diem "day of the planet Mars") + gras "fat," from L. crassus, "thick." Day of eating and merrymaking before the fasting season of Lent.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Mardi Gras [(mahr-dee grah)]

An annual festival held in France on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” — meaning it is the last opportunity to eat rich food before the fast of Lent begins. It is related to celebrations elsewhere, called “carnivals,” from the Latin words carne and vale, “meat” and “farewell,” meaning a farewell to meat before the abstinence of Lent.

Note: New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for its Mardi Gras celebration, as is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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