An example of something banal are boring knock-knock jokes that have been told many times before.
Origin of banal
- French from Old French shared by tenants in a feudal jurisdiction from ban summons to military service of Germanic origin bhā-2 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- 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”).