Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Drearily commonplace and often predictable; trite.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Commonplace; trivial; hackneyed; trite.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adjective repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse

Etymologies

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

[French, from Old French, shared by tenants in a feudal jurisdiction, from ban, summons to military service, of Germanic origin; see bhā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

Examples

  • I found it impossibly hard, and watched in awe as they demonstrated what they described as banal, but which we found almost magical in its purity.

    Travel news, travel guides and reviews | guardian.co.uk

  • In his letter the pope said that in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis, the church had to be all the more watchful and attentive about who should become priests and ensure that future ministers do not succumb to what he called a banal and destructive sexuality.

    Pope: Would-Be Priests Must Not be Deterred by Sex Scandal

  • In his letter the pope said that in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis, the church had to be all the more watchful and attentive about who should become priests and ensure that future ministers do not succumb to what he called a banal and destructive sexuality.

    Pope: Would-Be Priests Must Not be Deterred by Sex Scandal

  • Most interactions in the old Soviet Union were very banal from the '50's on.

    Balkinization

  • Most interactions in the old Soviet Union were very banal from the '50's on.

    Balkinization

  • Most interactions in the old Soviet Union were very banal from the '50's on.

    Balkinization

  • Most interactions in the old Soviet Union were very banal from the '50's on.

    Balkinization

  • Most interactions in the old Soviet Union were very banal from the '50's on.

    Balkinization

  • Most interactions in the old Soviet Union were very banal from the '50's on.

    Balkinization

  • Most interactions in the old Soviet Union were very banal from the '50's on.

    Balkinization

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Nasaal? Haha!

    November 28, 2007

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

    sentence 32. Sol Lewitt. Sentences on Conceptual Art

    July 27, 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

  • Milosrdentsvi, meet gangerh. :)

    August 15, 2008

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

    August 15, 2008

  • Like modern life.

    September 9, 2008