maenad

[mee-nad]

Origin of maenad

1570–80; < Latin Maenad- (stem of Maenas) < Greek Mainás a bacchante, special use of mainás madwoman
Related formsmae·nad·ic, adjectivemae·nad·ism, noun
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Historical Examples of maenad


British Dictionary definitions for maenad

maenad

menad

noun
  1. classical myth a woman participant in the orgiastic rites of Dionysus; bacchante
  2. a frenzied woman
Derived Formsmaenadic, adjectivemaenadically, adverbmaenadism, noun

Word Origin for maenad

C16: from Latin Maenas, from Greek mainas madwoman
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 maenad
n.

"Bacchante," 1570s, from Greek mainas (genitive mainados) "priestess of Bacchus," literally "madwoman," from stem of mainesthai "to rage, go mad" (see mania).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper