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banal

adjective

Definition: 1. boring and lacking in originality; 2. repeated too often and therefore overly familiar

Synonyms: trite, insipid, common, hackneyed, unoriginal, dull, obvious

Antonyms: original, fresh, new, uncommon

Tips: The original meaning of banal was "something common to all," which evolved into "commonplace." Use banal to describe anything that is boring because it is unoriginal or common (been done before). Banal is synonymous with trite and hackneyed. See detailed analysis at hackneyed. Banal is also synonymous with insipid, vapid, and prosaic. See a detailed analysis at insipid. For a memory trick, note how banal looks like "ban al." Al Gore (Democratic Presidential candidate) was known for being boring, and many people thought his ideas were banal (boring) and unoriginal. Many voters decided to "ban Al" from the Presidency for having banal (too common, unoriginal) ideas, and because they thought he was banal (boring).

Usage Examples:

We need to come up with some better concepts for next week’s presentation; everything we’ve thought of so far is totally banal. (trite, unoriginal)

He thinks his ideas are creative and original, but I find them to be rather banal. (common, hackneyed, obvious)

The conversation at the party was so banal, I couldn't wait to leave. (dull, insipid)

Most of what one sees on television these days is so banal, it makes you wonder if there are any intelligent and original writers any more. (insipid, hackneyed, unoriginal)


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