Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite: "Blunt language cannot hide a banal conception” ( James Wolcott).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Common in a boring way, to the point of being predictable; containing nothing new or fresh.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Commonplace; trivial; hackneyed; trite.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Subject to manorial rights; used in common: as, a banal mill or oven. See banality.
  • Common; commonplace; hackneyed; trite; stale.
  • Of or pertaining to a ban, or provincial governor: as, the royal banal court at Agram. See ban.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

Etymologies

French, from Old French, shared by tenants in a feudal jurisdiction, from ban, summons to military service, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French banal, from Medieval Latin bannalis ("pertaining to compulsory feudal service, applied especially to mills, wells, ovens, etc., used in common by people of the lower classes, upon the command of a feudal superior; hence, common, commonplace"), from bannum ("command, proclamation"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Like modern life.

    September 9, 2008

  • Seems to be like the pronunciation of 'canal', huh.

    August 15, 2008

  • Milosrdentsvi, meet gangerh. :)

    August 15, 2008

  • Drives me berserk when people pronounce it to rhyme with 'anal'. Makes me simply wild! It is pronounced how yarb explained; anything else is simply indicative of where your mind's been.

    August 15, 2008

  • "Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.�?

    sentence 32. Sol Lewitt. Sentences on Conceptual Art

    July 27, 2008

  • Nasaal? Haha!

    November 28, 2007

  • U, I say it a lot, actually. Only, every single time there's a long pause while people stare at me. I can only surmise it's out of shock that someone's pronounced it aloud.

    November 28, 2007

  • Don't like this one. Visually it looks like bum and anal slammed together (heaven forbid!) and the pronunciation is ugly and nasaal.

    November 28, 2007

  • I (and people I know) use this word all the time! Whenever I watch the TV news, for example. It's pronounced buh-NAAL. To rhyme with kraal.

    November 28, 2007

  • The word everyone knows but no one is quite sure how to pronounce. Seems it's only ever presented in written form.

    November 28, 2007