Definition of maenad in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmēnad/


(In ancient Greece) a female follower of Bacchus, traditionally associated with divine possession and frenzied rites.
Example sentences
  • His following is made up of satyrs and sileni (amoral woodland creatures, basically human but with some animal characteristics) and maenads, who seem possessed or intoxicated.
  • They dance in imitation of maenads who associated with the god in the old days.
  • Dionysos and his satyrs, nymphs, and maenads are, of course, found everywhere in the ancient world, but they appear most frequently in dining rooms and gardens.



Pronunciation: /mēˈnadik/
Example sentences
  • Wisely, in the brief rehearsal time allotted to them before this season began, Capucilli, Dakin, and their assistants developed a chorus that performed with maenadic power and unity.
  • The maenadic dances were usually based on either walking - taking long steps and advancing rapidly - or running, which resembled a series of leaps.
  • Neither celebration had anything in common with the wild orgies of the Bacchae, but women employed maenadic ritual equipment like the thyrsus and crowns of ivy in polis festivals.


Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek Mainas, Mainad-, from mainesthai 'to rave'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mae·nad

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