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From French banalité, from banal.



banality (countable and uncountable, plural banalities)

  1. (uncountable) The quality of being banal.
    Synonym: (partial) bathos
    • 1997, Edward S. Herman, Triumph of the Market: Essays on Economics, Politics, and the Media, Black Rose Books Ltd. (→ISBN), page 97:
      The concept of the banality of evil came into prominence following the publication of Hannah Arendt's 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, which was based on the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem.
  2. (countable) Something which is banal.
  3. (rare, historical) A feudal right or obligation, especially the obligation for a peasant to grind grain at the lord's mill, or the profits accruing from such rights.
    • 1892, William Klapp Williams, The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849, volume 1, page 176:
      The law of banality, one of the most oppressive products of feudalism, was revived for the advantage of the nobility.
    • 1984, Sheldon J. Watts, A Social History of Western Europe, 1450–1720: Tensions and Solidarities among Rural People, page 106:
      Other banalities included the lord's exclusive right to hunt over the land, his monopoly over fishing, and his right to keep the dove-cote whose feathery occupants ate a peasant's standing crops.
    • 1986, Pierre Goubert, Ian Patterson, transl., The French Peasantry in the Seventeenth Century, page 218:
      In fact corvées, champarts, and rights of banality not only continued but had been increased in the course of the seventeenth century.

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