noun, plural Bac·cha·na·li·a, Bac·cha·na·li·as.

  1. (sometimes used with a plural verb) a festival in honor of Bacchus.Compare Dionysia.
  2. (lowercase) a drunken feast; orgy.


  1. characterized by or involving drunken revelry
  2. (often capital) of or relating to the orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus

pl n

  1. (often capital) orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus
  2. any drunken revelry

1560s; see bacchanalia + -an. As a noun from 1610s.


“drunken revelry,” 1630s, from the name of the Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, from neuter plural of Latin bacchanalis (see bacchanal). A participant is a Bacchant (1690s), fem. Bacchante, from French. The plural of both is Bacchantes.

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