Definitions

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

  • n. Greek & Roman Mythology A priestess or female votary of Bacchus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A priestess of Bacchus.
  • n. A female bacchanal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A priestess of Bacchus.
  • n. A female bacchanal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In antiquity, a priestess of Bacchus, or a woman who joined in the celebration of the festivals of Bacchus; a woman inspired with the bacchic frenzy. See mænad.
  • n. A woman addicted to intemperance or riotous revelry; a female bacchanal.

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

  • n. (classical mythology) a priestess or votary of Bacchus

Etymologies

French, from Latin bacchāns, bacchant-; see bacchant.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The women—bare shouldered, their hair à la bacchante, with long curls at the back entwined with vine leaves and bunches of grapes—waltzed around the staid little queen.

    THE DIAMOND

  • Wherever she came there was laughter among the ladies, of the high hysteric bacchante kind, not true mirth, but

    The Heavenly Twins

  • Bacchus being carried by a satyr brandishing a thyrsus, and a torch-bearing bacchante.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • Hung with flowers, she looked like a bacchante, with one beautiful arm and shoulder showing bare through her mantle of tumbled hair.

    Leonie of the Jungle

  • Daring beauty, wild, lovely bacchante, with black, beaming eyes, tempt us not with that bright flame to destruction!

    The Continental Monthly , Vol. 2 No. 5, November 1862 Devoted to Literature and National Policy

  • Molly driving a car in Jamaica will be like Pavlova doing a bacchante on the point of a needle!

    The Bent Twig

  • “In very truth, ” thought Grainier, “it is a salamander—a nymph—’tis a goddess—a bacchante of Mount Mæ nalus!

    III. Besos Para Golpes. Book II

  • I perceived her, under the heavy procession of his words, a figure of astounding romance, an adventuress incomparable, a Polynesian bacchante.

    The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story

  • The moon's glow was like one luminous ghost: and buttercup, daisy, snowdrop, primrose gathered Margaret, vagrant, flighty, light to the winds that wafted her as fluff, and tossed them suddenly aloft, and back they came to be tangled in her bare hair; and now she was a tipsy bacchante, singing:

    The Lord of the Sea

  • Her eyes a-kindle, her hair flying, she showed you a bewitching bacchante; then, all of a sudden, her face expressed grief, and you saw a magnificent repentant Magdalen.

    Memoirs of Madame Vigée Lebrun

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Comments

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  • Usage on soutane.

    March 14, 2009

  • "Marc Bolan, who is the idol of British teenyboppers, wears iridescent eyelids, lame' trousers, feather boas and spangles on his cheeks, but he always reminds the mouse-coloured reporters who interview him that he is a very tough cookie and very well-endowed. His exhibitionism is both erotic and male; it is only just becoming possible after a hundred and fifty years of repression. The way the little girls scream out for him might remind us of the jubilant bacchantes of antiquity who sang out of their lover:
    'Flames float out from his trailing wand
    As he runs, as he dances,
    Kindling the stragglers,
    Spurring with cries,
    and his long curls stream to the wind!'"
    - 'What turns women on', Germaine Greer in Esquire, 1973.

    April 14, 2008