noun[treated as singular or plural]
- 1The ancient Roman festival of Saturn in December, a period of general merrymaking and the predecessor of Christmas.More example sentences
- Their essence is caught in Barber's notion of a saturnalian pattern, Saturnalia having been the Roman festival during which normal social hierarchy was inverted and masters waited on their servants.
- Chapter six presents many of Nero's more outrageous and extravagant actions as extensions and exaggerations of the festival of the Saturnalia as a time for jokes, merry-making, and the overthrowing of social conventions.
- Christmas actually evolved from the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, which in turn came from an ancient Mithran holiday celebrating his birth.
- 1.1 (saturnalia) An occasion of wild revelry or indulgence: a saturnalia of shoppingMore example sentences
- Even the counterculture and college saturnalias of the late 1960s did not corrupt my habits.
- The streets erupt in a saturnalia of lawlessness, to which the director adds an inspired touch: an escaped elephant from Barnum's circus trumpeting down the rubble-strewn streets.
- His first year there coincided with the saturnalia of the Restoration as Charles II arrived in England with his mistress Barbara Villiers, the future Duchess of Cleveland.
- More example sentences
- Barron Field, writing a poem about the kangaroo in 1819, could only imagine that the beast was pieced together ‘on Creation's holiday ’, a saturnalian respite after the hard work of shaping the northern hemisphere was done.
- So, come the dark third week of December, he and my wife and her brother and I left behind the saturnalian excesses of a Protestant Christmas and headed south.
- As a result, the authorities took steps to curb saturnalian excess.
Latin, literally 'matters relating to Saturn', neuter plural of Saturnalis.
More definitions of SaturnaliaDefinition of Saturnalia in:
- The US English dictionary