Definitions

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

  • n. The condition or quality of being banal; triviality: The banality of the speaker's remarks put the audience to sleep.
  • n. Something that is trite, obvious, or predictable; a commonplace: Television commercials are full of banalities.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality of being banal.
  • n. Something which is banal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Something commonplace, hackneyed, or trivial; the commonplace, in speech.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In old French and French-Canadian law, the right by which a lord compelled his vassals to grind at his mill, bake at his oven, etc.: applied also to the regions within which this right was exercised.
  • n. The state of being banal, trite, or stale; commonplaceness; triviality.
  • n. Anything common, trite, or trivial; a commonplace.

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

  • n. a trite or obvious remark

Etymologies

From French banalité, from banal. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Fighting a war against what he calls the banality of “blue-sky thinking”, society founder and book author Gavin Pretor-Pinney believes that clouds offer people on all continents a chance to see the world in a new way.

    Standing Up For Clouds! » Japundit Blog

  • Their "plain" styles are really just exercises in banality, studiously avoiding the "literary" because to attempt something other than bare proficiency would reveal the aesthetic void at the core of their work.

    Narrative Strategies

  • They talk of "fun" and "safety," and they sink us in banality and boredom.

    Latex Conquers All

  • Yet its very banality is also somehow appropriate - for this war will be won or lost not in some grand showdown but in a trillion tiny everyday encounters, like those of commuters pouring off a suburban train.

    the madrid agenda

  • One more on baseball: Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post pays tribute to a player whose startling achievement is rooted in banality: showing up for work.

    Watching Baseball on TV | PopPolitics.com

  • Eichmann, like the Wannsee Conference, was a testament to what Hannah Arendt described as the "banality of evil."

    Never Again, for Now

  • She reported on the Eichmann trial for the New Yorker magazine and produced a book, "Eichmann in Jerusalem" 1963, in which she coined the phrase "the banality of evil."

    Anything but Banal

  • If his memoir has any enduring value, it is not as another offering of hollow excuses for an unjustifiable war but rather as a study in what the famed historian of European fascism, Hannah Arendt, termed the "banality of evil."

    Robert Scheer: Deceit of Shakespearean Proportions

  • Simon Baker's Patrick Jane finally came face-to-face with the madman who slaughtered his family — and the culprit perfectly embodied the phrase "the banality of evil."

    Cheers & Jeers: The Mentalist — And Red John Is...

  • Can we counter what the philosopher Hannah Arendt called the banality of evil, when philosophy departments, like all the humanities, are strapped for funds?

    The University Is Not a Factory : On the Crisis in the Humanities

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