Definition of bacchanal in English:


Line breaks: bac|cha¦nal
Pronunciation: /ˈbakən(ə)l
, -nal/
chiefly • literary


  • 1A wild and drunken celebration: the debauched and alcoholic president was said to be organizing unceasing bacchanals
    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.
  • 2A priest, worshipper, 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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