Definitions

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

  • n. The master or director of a symposium, especially one in ancient Greece.
  • n. A toastmaster.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The master of a feast.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The master of a feast.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Greek antiquity, the president, director, or manager of a symposium or drinking-party; hence, in modern usage, one who presides at a symposium, or the leading spirit of a convivial gathering: applied somewhat familiarly, chiefly with reference to the meetings of noted wits, or literary or learned persons of recognized consequence; specifically, the toast-master of such banquets.

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

  • n. the person who proposes toasts and introduces speakers at a banquet

Etymologies

Greek sumposiarkhos : sumposion, symposium; see symposium + arkhos, ruler; see -arch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek, related to symposium. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At first this had merely saddened him, but after he had drunk the wine, and Antyllus, Antony's son, in the presence of the revellers, over whom Caesarion presided as "symposiarch" --

    Cleopatra — Volume 04

  • "symposiarch" -- [Director of a banquet.] -- had accused Barine of capturing hearts by magic spells, he had arrived at the conviction that he, too, had been shamefully allured and betrayed.

    Complete Project Gutenberg Georg Ebers Works

  • Even after connecting himself with the magazine and becoming the symposiarch of the "Noctes," and perhaps the greatest Tory in all broad Scotland, he did not renounce his home among the lakes.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 17, March, 1859

  • The symposiarch, or arbiter bibendi, settled the proportions to be used.

    Plutarch's Morals

  • Hawkins, who knew him for so many years, says of him that "as Alexander and Caesar were born for conquest, so was Johnson for the office of a symposiarch, to preside in all conversations"; and he adds, "I never yet saw the man who would venture to contest his right."

    Dr. Johnson and His Circle

  • But everybody knew that Aphrodite deemed herself greater than the highest of kings, and therefore Barine ventured to close her doors upon their august symposiarch in a manner which could not fail to be unendurable, not only to him but to all the youth of Alexandria.

    Cleopatra — Volume 04

  • When he paused, loud applause rewarded him, and as it reached him from every part of the spacious room, his deep, resonant voice put him in communication even with the more distant guests, and he might have been taken for the symposiarch or director of the banquet.

    Arachne — Volume 06

  • But everybody knew that Aphrodite deemed herself greater than the highest of kings, and therefore Barine ventured to close her doors upon their august symposiarch in a manner which could not fail to be unendurable, not only to him but to all the youth of

    Complete Project Gutenberg Georg Ebers Works

  • There was a chairman, or symposiarch, appointed by the company to regulate the drinking; and it was his duty to mix the wine in the “mighty bowl.”

    The Book of Household Management

  • Anacreon here acts the symposiarch, or master of the festival.

    The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore Collected by Himself with Explanatory Notes

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