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[mer-ee-goh-round] /ˈmɛr i goʊˌraʊnd/
Also called carousel, carrousel. (in amusement parks, carnivals, etc.) a revolving, circular platform with wooden horses or other animals, benches, etc., on which people may sit or ride, usually to the accompaniment of mechanical or recorded music.
a rapid whirl or a busy round, as of social life or business affairs.
Origin of merry-go-round
1720-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for merry-go-round
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The brothers who attended a country fair had been forbidden by their mother to ride in the merry-go-round.

    Child Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • But these were only the disconnected parts of a merry-go-round.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • In the night he had packed up his merry-go-round and had traveled on, leaving no word as to where he was going.

  • And I did, and then he ran up on the merry-go-round with me.

  • Calibree considered it, and mumbled to his wife, "Think you'd like to stop and try a ride on the merry-go-round?"

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • They shot the chutes until, maudlin with laughter, they took to a merry-go-round.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
British Dictionary definitions for merry-go-round


another name for roundabout (sense 1)
a whirl of activity or events: the merry-go-round of the fashion world
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 merry-go-round

1729, from merry (adj.) + go (v.) + round. Figurative use by 1838. Merry-totter (mid-15c.) was a Middle English name for a swing or see-saw. Also cf. merry-go-down "strong ale" (c.1500); merry-go-sorry "a mix of joy and sorrow" (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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