Definition of bacchanal in English:


Syllabification: bac·cha·nal
Pronunciation: /ˌbäkəˈnäl, ˌbak-, ˈbakənl
chiefly • literary


  • 1An occasion of wild and drunken revelry.
    More 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.
  • 1.1A drunken reveler.
    More example sentences
    • A few weeks ago, I went to a pool party where a fellow bacchanal was shooting Polaroids of bikini-clad lovelies.
  • 2A priest, worshiper, or follower of Bacchus.


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  • another term for bacchanalian.
    More 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.

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