• synonyms


  1. bacchante.
  2. a frenzied or raging woman.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for maenad

Historical Examples

  • These were the eyes of a girl who had raved like a maenad the night through.

    A Thorny Path [Per Aspera], Complete

    Georg Ebers

  • Maenad: a frenzied Nymph, attendant on Dionysus in the Greek mythology.

  • Her eye gleamed: she ran to the cupboard and took out the Maenad's dress.

  • I was in a mind to wring the Maenad's neck three minutes ago.

  • But that statue will put it all right,' and she pointed behind her to the Maenad.

British Dictionary definitions for maenad



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

Word Origin

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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper