[ dahy-uh-nish-uh n, -nis-ee-uh n, -nahy-see- ]
/ ˌdaɪ əˈnɪʃ ən, -ˈnɪs i ən, -ˈnaɪ si- /


of, relating to, or honoring Dionysus or Bacchus.
recklessly uninhibited; unrestrained; undisciplined; frenzied; orgiastic.

Origin of Dionysian

First recorded in 1600–10; Dionys(us) + -ian

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dionysian

British Dictionary definitions for dionysian


/ (ˌdaɪəˈnɪzɪən) /


of or relating to Dionysus
(sometimes not capital) (in the philosophy of Nietzsche) of or relating to the set of creative qualities that encompasses spontaneity, irrationality, the rejection of discipline, etc
(often not capital) wild or orgiastic
of or relating to any of the historical characters named Dionysius
Compare (for senses 2, 3): Apollonian

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 dionysian



of or pertaining to Dionysos, Greek god of wine and revelry, identified with Roman Bacchus. His name is of unknown origin. Or in reference to historical men named Dionysius such as the tyrants of Syracuse and especially Dionysius Exiguus (see A.D.), e.g. Dionysian period of 532 Julian years, when the moon phases recur on the same days of the week.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper