Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The ancient Roman festival in honor of Bacchus.
  • n. A riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity; a revel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A feast or an orgy in honor of Bacchus.
  • n. Hence: A drunken feast; drunken revels; an orgy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. A feast or an orgy in honor of Bacchus.
  • n.pl. Hence: A drunken feast; drunken revels; an orgy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • [capitalized] In Roman antiquity, a festival in honor of Bacchus. These festivals became the occasion of great excesses, and were forbidden by the senate in 186 b. c. Any festivities characterized by jollity and good-fellowship, particularly if somewhat boisterous, and accompanied by much wine-drinking.
  • Drunken orgies; riotous disorders; ruthless and shameless excesses; unbounded license.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity
  • n. an orgiastic festival in ancient Greece in honor of Dionysus (= Bacchus)

Etymologies

Latin Bacchānālia, from Bacchus, Bacchus, from Greek Bakkhos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin Bacchānālia ("feast of Bacchus"), plural of Bacchānal ("a place devoted to Bacchus"), from Bacchus ("the god of wine"), from Ancient Greek Βάκχος (Bakkhos). (Wiktionary)

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