[ noun bah-kuh-nahl, bak-uh-nal, bak-uh-nl; adjective bak-uh-nl ]
/ noun ˌbɑ kəˈnɑl, ˌbæk əˈnæl, ˈbæk ə nl; adjective ˈbæk ə nl /


a follower of Bacchus.
a drunken reveler.
an occasion of drunken revelry; orgy; bacchanalia.


pertaining to Bacchus; bacchanalian.

Nearby words

  1. baccalaureate sermon,
  2. baccalauréat,
  3. baccarat,
  4. baccate,
  5. bacchae,
  6. bacchanalia,
  7. bacchanalian,
  8. bacchant,
  9. bacchante,
  10. bacchantes

Origin of bacchanal

1530–40; < Latin Bacchānāl, equivalent to Bacch(us) + -ānāl, probably as back formation from Bacchānālia; see Bacchanalia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bacchanal


/ (ˈbækənəl) /


a follower of Bacchus
a drunken and riotous celebration
a participant in such a celebration; reveller


of or relating to Bacchus

Word Origin for bacchanal

C16: from Latin Bacchānālis; see Bacchus

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bacchanal


1530s (n.); 1540s (adj.), from Latin bacchanalis "having to do with Bacchus" (see Bacchus). Meaning "riotous, drunken roistering; orgy" is from 1711.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper