- festive occasion marked by parades and special foods and occasionally, fun rides for the children
- We all got to ride the merry-go-round when the Shriners brought their carnival to town.
- comic good times marked by special events
- a parade group masquerading, especially when overstepping the bounds of decorum; a time of riotous excess
- When the carnival came to town, every one wanted some cotton candy.
- the season just before the beginning of the Roman Catholic season of Lent, when New Orleans has its Mardis Gras carnival.
- A ritual reversal of a social heirarchy.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Car"ni*val (?), n. [It.
carnevale, prob. for older carnelevale, prop., the
putting away of meat; fr. L. caro, carnis, flesh +
levare to take away, lift up, fr. levis light.]
1. A festival celebrated with merriment and
revelry in Roman Gatholic countries during the week before Lent,
esp. at Rome and Naples, during a few days (three to ten) before
Lent, ending with Shrove Tuesday.
The carnival at Venice is everywhere talked
2. Any merrymaking, feasting, or
masquerading, especially when overstepping the bounds of decorum;
a time of riotous excess. Tennyson.
He saw the lean dogs beneath the wall
Hold o'er the dead their carnival
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Carnival, in Roman Catholic countries the name given to a season of
feasting and revelry immediately preceding Lent, akin to the Saturnalia
of the Romans.
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The correct spelling of this word ought to be: Carnival
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