Definition of thyrsus in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈTHərsəs/

noun (plural thyrsusi /-sī/)

(In ancient Greece and Rome) a staff or spear tipped with an ornament like a pine cone, carried by Dionysus and his followers.
Example sentences
  • Frenzied with wine they rushed through woods and over mountains uttering sharp cries, waving pine-cone-tipped wands (thyrsi).
  • The fabulous history of Bacchus relates that he converted the thyrsi carried by himself and his followers into dangerous weapons, by concealing an iron point in the head of leaves.
  • Primrose is a very leafy shrub, producing small, yellowish thyrsi.


Latin, from Greek thursos 'plant stalk, Bacchic staff'.

Words that rhyme with thyrsus

excursus, versus

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: thyr·sus

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.