[ buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l ]
/ bəˈnæl, -ˈnɑl, ˈbeɪn l /


devoid of freshness or originality; hackneyed; trite: a banal and sophomoric treatment of courage on the frontier.

Origin of banal

1745–55; < French; Old French: pertaining to a ban (see ban2, -al1)

Related forms

ba·nal·i·ty [buh-nal-i-tee, bey-] /bəˈnæl ɪ ti, beɪ-/, nounba·nal·ly, adverb

Synonym study Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for banal


/ (bəˈnɑːl) /


lacking force or originality; trite; commonplace

Derived Forms

banality (bəˈnælɪtɪ), nounbanally, adverb

Word Origin for banal

C18: from Old French: relating to compulsory feudal service, hence common to all, commonplace; from ban ban ²
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