- a traveling amusement show, having sideshows, rides, etc.
- any merrymaking, revelry, or festival, as a program of sports or entertainment: a winter carnival.
- the season immediately preceding Lent, often observed with merrymaking; Shrovetide.
Origin of carnival
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for carnival
Lupher says the Carnival Magic tried to land in Cozumel, but that the Mexican authorities blocked them from the dock.
People aboard the Carnival Magic have another day and a half at sea before they reach Galveston, Texas.
Was the hammer scene, for you, like that strength game at the carnival where you hit the block with the hammer?Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington on Jon Snow’s Heroism and Loss in the Battle of Castle Black
June 9, 2014
But she also is disappointed by the way Costa Crociere, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, has handled the situation.I Survived a Deadly Shipwreck: Costa Concordia Passengers Tell Their Stories
Barbie Latza Nadeau
May 19, 2014
Arellano reportedly had her heart set on becoming the 1977 carnival queen of Mazatlan and certainly possessed the necessary looks.Drug Cartel Beauty Queens Face an Ugly End
February 26, 2014
If many people went to the carnival they must have approached it from the other direction.Pee-wee Harris
Percy Keese Fitzhugh
They say that you want to give your daughter in marriage to a someone in a Carnival costume?The Middle Class Gentleman
When is the carnival, and when does this piece of tomfoolery come off?
And you think you would like to go to the Carnival Ball, hey?
It was Sunday, the first day of the carnival, and that devoted to the ball of the season.
- a festive occasion or period marked by merrymaking, processions, etc: esp in some Roman Catholic countries, the period just before Lent
- (as modifier)a carnival atmosphere
- a travelling fair having merry-go-rounds, etc
- a show or display arranged as an amusement
- Australian a sports meeting
Word Origin and History for carnival
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.