• synonyms


or car·ney

See more synonyms for carny on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural car·nies.
  1. a person employed by a carnival.
  2. carnival(def 1).
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  1. of or relating to carnivals: carny slang.
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Origin of carny

First recorded in 1930–35; carn(ival) + -y2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carny

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Castle of Carny, in the parish of Moonzie, in the shire of Fife.

  • He was an Armless Wonder, a born freak, the top of the carny ladder, with a good job wherever he cared to look for one.

    Charley de Milo

    Laurence Mark Janifer AKA Larry M. Harris

  • Some people never really adjusted to carny life—where everybody knows everything.

    Charley de Milo

    Laurence Mark Janifer AKA Larry M. Harris

  • It was much more like a carny haunted house trade-show floor now.


    Cory Doctorow

  • He felt like doing a carny barker spiel, Step right up, step right up, this way to the great egress!


    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for carny



verb -nies, -nying, -nied, -neys, -neying or -neyed
  1. British informal to coax or cajole or act in a wheedling manner
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Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin


carney or carnie

noun plural -nies US and Canadian slang
  1. short for carnival
  2. a person who works in a carnival
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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

Word Origin and History for carny


1931, U.S. slang, short for carnival worker (see carnival).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper