Definitions

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

  • adj. Licentious; obscene.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Obscene or scurrilous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or resembling, the Fescennines.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or characteristic of ancient Fescenniain Italy: specifically applied to a class of verses. See phrase below.
  • n. A song of licentious or scurrilous character, popular in ancient Italy.

Etymologies

Latin Fescennīnus, of Fescennia, a town of ancient Etruria known for its licentious poetry.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin Fescennīnus, from the name of the ancient Etruscan town of Fescennia, noted for the "Fescennine Verses," a tradition of scurrilous songs performed on special occasions. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Ali Shar (vol.iv. 187) shows at her sale the impudence of Miriam the Girdle-girl and in bed the fescennine device of the Lady Budur.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Nowas makes his appearance the fun becomes fescennine and milesian.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Most frequently, the dice were thrown by the company, and those upon whom the lot fell were obliged to assume and maintain, for a time, a certain fictitious character, or to repeat a certain number of fescennine verses in a particular order.

    Chapter XXXVI

  • Here rang out the joyous conversation, interspersed with the Latin epithalamium of some impromptu poet, or the fescennine verses of a German minnesinger.

    Pater Peter. English.

  • Finally, wherever the honest and independent old debauchee Abu Nowas makes his appearance the fun becomes fescennine and milesian.

    Arabian nights. English

  • ( "Smaragdine") in Ali Shar (vol.iv. 187) shows at her sale the impudence of Miriam the Girdle-girl and in bed the fescennine device of the Lady Budur.

    Arabian nights. English

  • Most frequently the dice were thrown by the company, and those upon whom the lot fell were obliged to assume and maintain for a time a certain fictitious character, or to repeat a certain number of fescennine verses in a particular order.

    Guy Mannering, Or, the Astrologer — Volume 02

  • These are the things that put the 'Great' in Britain, and just a fraction of the fescennine cast of this unexpectedly brilliant point-and-click adventure from Northern Irish animation studio Straandlooper.

    Eurogamer

  • And just a few words later we'll be out and about in paragraph seven itself to find out just what all the fuss, the hysteria and the frat-boy whooping is about in the company of Great Britain's very own me, with a little help from gold medal adjective, fescennine.

    Sport news, comment and results | guardian.co.uk

  • So, without further ado, let's take a look back right now at what, by any stretch of somebody's imagination has been a wonderfully frenetic, if not-quite as fescennine as we might have hoped, column, starting with that incredible opening sentence which now seems as if it occurred - oh my goodness!

    Sport news, comment and results | guardian.co.uk

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