- \ \  Bákkhos was the Greek god of wine. Son of Zeus and Semele, he was also known as Diónūsos. The Romans adopted him, amending his name to Bacchus, and his worshippers went in for a brand of licentious revelry, in his honour, known as Bacchanalia.\ \ Hence the metaphorical application of the English adjective to anything drunkenly orgiastic.
Word origins - 2ed. J. Ayto. 2005.
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Bacchanalian — Bac cha*na li*an (b[a^]k k[.a]*n[=a] l[i^]*an; 106), a. Of or pertaining to the festival of Bacchus; relating to or given to reveling and drunkenness. [1913 Webster] Even bacchanalian madness has its charms. Cowper. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Bacchanalian — Bac cha*na li*an, n. A bacchanal; a drunken reveler. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
bacchanalian — (adj.) 1560s; see BACCHANALIA (Cf. bacchanalia) + AN (Cf. an). As a noun from 1610s … Etymology dictionary
bacchanalian — bac|cha|na|li|an Bacchanalian [ˌbækəˈneıliən] adj literary [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: bacchanalis of Bacchus ] a bacchanalian party involves a lot of alcohol, sex, and uncontrolled behaviour ▪ a bacchanalian orgy … Dictionary of contemporary English
bacchanalian — adjective literary a bacchanalian party, celebration etc involves alcohol, sex, and uncontrolled behaviour: a bacchanalian orgy … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
bacchanalian — See Bacchanalian. * * * … Universalium
Bacchanalian — 1. adjective Of or pertaining to the festival of Bacchus; relating to or given to reveling and drunkenness. Even bacchanalian madness has its charms. 2. noun A bacchanal; a drunken reveler … Wiktionary
bacchanalian — bac|cha|na|li|an [ ,bækə neıliən ] adjective FORMAL a bacchanalian party involves noisy and uncontrolled enjoyment and usually a lot of alcohol or sex … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
bacchanalian — drunken Literally, anything to do with Bacchus, or Dionysus, who was the god of wine and debauchery: Burgess fell from grace at the Foreign Office as a result of another bacchanalian holiday trip. (Boyle, 1979 the authorities were less… … How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms
bacchanalian — UK [ˌbækəˈneɪlɪən] / US adjective formal a bacchanalian party involves noisy and uncontrolled enjoyment and usually a lot of alcohol or sex … English dictionary
bacchanalian — adjective used of riotously drunken merrymaking a night of bacchanalian revelry carousing bands of drunken soldiers orgiastic festivity • Syn: ↑bacchanal, ↑bacchic, ↑carousing, ↑orgiastic … Useful english dictionary