from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The period of merrymaking and feasting celebrated just before Lent.
- n. A traveling amusement show usually including rides, games, and sideshows.
- n. A festival or revel: winter carnival.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A festive occasion marked by parades and sometimes special foods and other entertainment
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
- n. Any merrymaking, feasting, or masquerading, especially when overstepping the bounds of decorum; a time of riotous excess.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The feast or season of rejoicing before Lent, observed in Roman Catholic countries with public merriment and revelry, feasts, balls, operas, concerts, etc.
- n. Figuratively, feasting or revelry in general.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a frenetic disorganized (and often comic) disturbance suggestive of a large public entertainment
- n. a traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of skill etc.
- n. a festival marked by merrymaking and processions
Italian carnevale, from Old Italian carnelevare, Shrovetide : carne, meat (from Latin carō, carn-; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots) + levare, to remove (from Latin levāre, to raise).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian carnevale, from the Latin phrase carnem levāre, to put away meat (Wiktionary)