(sometimes used with a plural verb) a festival in honor of Bacchus.
Compare Dionysia.
(lowercase) a drunken feast; orgy.
characterized by or involving drunken revelry
(often capital) of or relating to the orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus
plural noun
(often capital) orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus
any drunken revelry

1560s; see bacchanalia + -an. As a noun from 1610s.

“drunken revelry,” 1630s, from the name of the Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, from neuter plural of Latin bacchanalis (see bacchanal). A participant is a Bacchant (1690s), fem. Bacchante, from French. The plural of both is Bacchantes.


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  • Bacchant

    a priest, priestess, or votary of Bacchus; bacchanal. a drunken reveler. inclined to revelry. Historical Examples But shall I be more like a bacchant holding the thyrsus in my right hand, or in this? The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I. Euripides Scenes of bacchant excitement and of wildest abandonment may be witnessed here. The History […]

  • Bacchante

    a female bacchant. Historical Examples The eyes and hair are painted, and in one instance the features of a bacchante can be recognized. Pompeii, Its Life and Art August Mau This was met by a counter taunt from us, “‘Iron Duke’ can do ‘bacchante’—200 dollars.” In Eastern Seas J. J. Smith She was some beauty—like […]

  • Bacchic

    of, relating to, or honoring Bacchus. (lowercase) riotously or jovially intoxicated; drunken. Historical Examples It ran in the direction of Orphic and Bacchic Thrace to the north. Opuscula Robert Gordon Latham The subject of this sculpture seems to be a Bacchic procession. The Gates of India Thomas Holdich In a word, I absolutely identify the […]

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