- (sometimes used with a plural verb) a festival in honor of Bacchus.Compare Dionysia.
- (lowercase) a drunken feast; orgy.
Origin of Bacchanalia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- characterized by or involving drunken revelry
- (often capital) of or relating to the orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus
- (often capital) orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus
- any drunken revelry
Word Origin and History for bacchanalian
"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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper