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Mardi Gras

[mahr-dee grah, grah] /ˈmɑr di ˌgrɑ, ˈgrɑ/
the day before Lent, celebrated in some cities, as New Orleans and Paris, as a day of carnival and merrymaking; Shrove Tuesday.
a pre-Lenten carnival period climaxing on this day.
Origin of Mardi Gras
1690-1700; < French: literally, fat Tuesday Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Mardi Gras
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Pauline wore the topaz at the Mardi Gras Ball, and died ten minutes after she had entered the room.

    Jewel Mysteries Max Pemberton
  • It was plain that he was not greatly enjoying the Mardi Gras.

  • The city's great holiday is the Mardi Gras carnival, which is celebrated just before Lent.

    Great Cities of the United States Gertrude Van Duyn Southworth
  • Move and I'll wipe my palette off on that Mardi Gras vest of yours!

  • When the night of the Mardi Gras ball came, he felt like a lost spirit during the hours he was forced to remain away from her.

    Bayou Folk Kate Chopin
British Dictionary definitions for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras

/ˈmɑːdɪ ˈɡrɑː/
the festival of Shrove Tuesday, celebrated in some cities with great revelry
Word Origin
French: fat Tuesday
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 Mardi Gras

1690s, from French, literally "fat Tuesday," from mardi "Tuesday" (12c., from Latin Martis diem "day of the planet Mars;" see Tuesday) + gras "fat," from Latin crassus, "thick." Day of eating and merrymaking before the fasting season of Lent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Mardi Gras in Culture
Mardi Gras [(mahr-dee grah)]

An annual festival held in France on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” — meaning it is the last opportunity to eat rich food before the fast of Lent begins. It is related to celebrations elsewhere, called “carnivals,” from the Latin words carne and vale, “meat” and “farewell,” meaning a farewell to meat before the abstinence of Lent.

Note: New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for its Mardi Gras celebration, as is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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