1. A festival celebrated with merriment and revelry in Roman Catholic countries during the week before Lent, esp. at Rome and Naples, during a few days (three to ten) before Lent, ending with Shrove Tuesday.
The carnival at Venice is everywhere talked of. --Addison.
2. Any merrymaking, feasting, or masquerading, especially when overstepping the bounds of decorum; a time of riotous excess.
He saw the lean dogs beneath the wall
Hold o'er the dead their carnival --Byron.
n 1: a festival marked by merrymaking and processions
2: a frenetic disorganized (and often comic) disturbance
suggestive of a circus or carnival; "it was so funny it
was a circus"; "the whole occasion had a carnival
atmosphere" [syn: circus]
3: a traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of
skill etc. [syn: fair, funfair]