Definition of bacchanal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbäkənäl/
Pronunciation: /ˈbakənäl/
Pronunciation: /ˈbakənl/
chiefly literary


1An occasion of wild and drunken revelry.
Example sentences
  • Through her eyes we observe the absurdities of co-ed dorms and toilets, drunken frat bacchanals, and violent tailgate parties.
  • Coming from the comparatively sedate Toronto coffeehouse scene, the brothers were dropped into what must have seemed like a bacchanal.
  • The movie tells the story of two middle-aged pals, Miles and Jack, attempting one last bachelor bacchanal before Jack gets married.
2A priest, worshiper, or follower of Bacchus.


another term for bacchanalian.
Example sentences
  • The blogs have been very successful, the surprise being that students' blogs aren't all bacchanal debauchery but have included some intensely personal writing and some well reasoned commentary.
  • What did shock me was that the hip-hop press, perhaps in a guilty, knee-jerk response to the bacchanal hip-hop that essentially gave rise to the genre in the first place, chose to ride along.
  • With the proceeds of a very remunerative silent film in which he choreographed and danced a bacchanal scene, he re-channeled his life into a decade of travel and painting.


Mid 16th century: from Latin bacchanalis, from the name of the god Bacchus.

  • This word comes from Bacchus (in Greek Bakkhos), the god of wine. The association with the Bacchanalia, the Roman festival in honour of the god, with its renowned free-flowing wine and licentious behaviour, gave the sense ‘drunken revelry or orgy’.

Words that rhyme with bacchanal

Al, cabal, canal, Chagall, Chantal, chaparral, gal, grand mal, Guadalcanál, Hal, La Salle, mall, Natal, pal, pall-mall, petit mal, sal, shall, Val

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bac·cha·nal

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