carnival [-s] n

It. < L. carnem levare, putting away of flesh (or food), originally proper to the eve of Ash Wednesday.

  1. Party; circus; gathering; accumulation.
  2. Festival; public revelry; Mardi Gras; Shrove Tuesday; Catholic celebration before Lent; last feast before the beginning of an abstinence from eating meat; [fig.] joyfulness; exuberance; [word play on “carne” = 'meat' in Latinate languages] incarnation; flesh.