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See also: Carnival


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From French carnaval, from Italian carnevale, possibly from the Latin phrase carnem levāmen ("meat dismissal"). Other scholars suggest Latin carnuālia ("meat-based country feast") or carrus navālis ("boat wagon", "float") instead.[1]


  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkæɹnɪvəl/, /kɑɹnəˈvɑl/ (referring to specific festivals in various countries)
  • (file)


carnival (plural carnivals)

  1. Any of a number of festivals held just before the beginning of Lent.
    Carnival of Brazil
    Venice Carnival
  2. A festive occasion marked by parades and sometimes special foods and other entertainment.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
      Like most human activities, ballooning has sponsored heroes and hucksters and a good deal in between. For every dedicated scientist patiently recording atmospheric pressure and wind speed while shivering at high altitudes, there is a carnival barker with a bevy of pretty girls willing to dangle from a basket or parachute down to earth.
  3. (US) A traveling amusement park, called a funfair in British English.
    We all got to ride the merry-go-round when they brought their carnival to town.
    When the carnival came to town, every one wanted some cotton candy.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Ottorino Pianigiani (1907) , “Carnevale, Carnovale”, in Il Vocabolario Etimologico[1] (in Italian)

See also[edit]