Definitions

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

  • noun The condition or quality of being banal; triviality.
  • noun Something that is trite, obvious, or predictable; a commonplace.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The state of being banal, trite, or stale; commonplaceness; triviality.
  • noun Anything common, trite, or trivial; a commonplace.

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

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

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

  • noun uncountable The quality of being banal.
  • noun countable Something which is banal.

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

  • noun a trite or obvious remark

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French banalité, from banal.

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

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

    Latex Conquers All

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Never Again, for Now

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