[buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l]
devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier.

1745–55; < French; Old French: pertaining to a ban (see ban2, -al1)

banality [buh-nal-i-tee, bey-] , noun
banally, adverb

See commonplace. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
banal (bəˈnɑːl)
lacking force or originality; trite; commonplace
[C18: from Old French: relating to compulsory feudal service, hence common to all, commonplace; from banban²]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  banal1
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  commonplace; tired or petty
Etymology:  Serbo-Croatian ban 'lord, ruler'
Main Entry:  banal2
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  pertaining to compulsory feudal service
Etymology:  Serbo-Croatian ban 'lord, ruler'
Main Entry:  banal3
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  pertaining to a lord or ruler (banat) in Hungary, Croatia, and thereabouts
Etymology:  Serbo-Croatian ban 'lord, ruler''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

"trite, commonplace," 1840, from Fr. banal, adj., "belonging to a manor, common, hackneyed, commonplace," from O.Fr. banel "communal" (13c.), from ban "decree; legal control; announcement; authorization; payment for use of a communal oven, mill, etc." (see ban (v.)). The modern
sense evolved from the word's use in designating things like ovens or mills that belonged to feudal serfs, or else compulsory military service; in either case it was generalized in French through "open to everyone" to "commonplace, ordinary," to "trite, petty."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The architecture is, for the most part, banal.
As if this were not bad enough, the script is freighted with a mighty load of
  banal incidents.
Indie rock aficionados may hold themselves above the pop-idol-worshiping
  masses, but their culture can be just as banal.
Background music never need be banal.
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