Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Licentious; obscene.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Pertaining to, or resembling, the Fescennines.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Obscene or scurrilous.

Etymologies

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

[Latin Fescennīnus, of Fescennia, a town of ancient Etruria known for its licentious poetry.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 — Complete

  • 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 — Complete

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