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carnival

[kahr-nuh-vuh l] /ˈkɑr nə vəl/
noun
1.
a traveling amusement show, having sideshows, rides, etc.
2.
any merrymaking, revelry, or festival, as a program of sports or entertainment:
a winter carnival.
3.
the season immediately preceding Lent, often observed with merrymaking; Shrovetide.
Origin of carnival
1540-1550
1540-50; < Italian carnevale, Old Italian carnelevare taking meat away, equivalent to carne flesh (< Latin carnem, accusative of caro) + levare < Latin levāre to lift
Related forms
carnivalesque, carnivallike, adjective
precarnival, adjective
Synonyms
2. fair, celebration, fete, holiday.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for carnival
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "It certainly doesn't compare with the carnival last year," said Mrs. Bowen.

    Indian Summer William D. Howells
  • If many people went to the carnival they must have approached it from the other direction.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • I think, however—and Wrfel fully approves my intention—of giving my first concert during the carnival.

    Frederic Chopin, Vol II (of 2) Moritz Karasowski
  • They say that you want to give your daughter in marriage to a someone in a carnival costume?

  • It was not until this occasion of the carnival that any one at the Villa Camellia had recognized Lorna as a budding beauty.

British Dictionary definitions for carnival

carnival

/ˈkɑːnɪvəl/
noun
1.
  1. a festive occasion or period marked by merrymaking, processions, etc: esp in some Roman Catholic countries, the period just before Lent
  2. (as modifier): a carnival atmosphere
2.
a travelling fair having merry-go-rounds, etc
3.
a show or display arranged as an amusement
4.
(Austral) a sports meeting
Word Origin
C16: from Italian carnevale, from Old Italian carnelevare a removing of meat (referring to the Lenten fast)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for carnival
n.

1540s, "time of merrymaking before Lent," from French carnaval, from Italian carnevale "Shrove Tuesday," from older Italian forms such as Milanese *carnelevale, Old Pisan carnelevare "to remove meat," literally "raising flesh," from Latin caro "flesh" (see carnage) + levare "lighten, raise, remove" (see lever (n.)). Folk etymology is from Medieval Latin carne vale " 'flesh, farewell!' " Meaning "a circus or fair" is attested by 1931 in North America.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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