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orgy

[awr-jee]
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noun, plural or·gies.
  1. wild or drunken festivity or revelry, especially involving sex with multiple participants.
  2. any actions or proceedings marked by unbridled indulgence of passions: an orgy of killing.
  3. orgies, (in ancient Greece) esoteric religious rituals, especially in the worship of Demeter or Dionysus, characterized in later times by wild dancing, singing, and drinking.
  4. Informal. a boisterous, rowdy party.
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Origin of orgy

1580–90; < Middle French orgie < Latin orgia (neuter plural) secret rites < Greek órgia, akin to érgon work
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for orgy

Historical Examples

  • The Orgy is famous for the dash and abandon with which it is painted.

    The Standard Galleries - Holland

    Esther Singleton

  • Orgy, or′ji, n. any drunken or riotous rite or revelry, esp.


British Dictionary definitions for orgy

orgy

noun plural -gies
  1. a wild gathering marked by promiscuous sexual activity, excessive drinking, etc
  2. an act of immoderate or frenzied indulgence
  3. (often plural) secret religious rites of Dionysus, Bacchus, etc, marked by drinking, dancing, and songs
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Derived Formsorgiastic, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from French orgies, from Latin orgia, from Greek: nocturnal festival
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 orgy

n.

1560s, orgies (plural) "secret rites in the worship of certain Greek and Roman gods," especially Dionysus, from Middle French orgies (c.1500, from Latin orgia), and directly from Greek orgia (plural) "secret rites," especially those of Bacchus, from PIE root *werg- "to work" (see urge (v.)). The singular, orgy, was first used in English 1660s for the extended sense of "any licentious revelry." OED says of the ancient rites that they were "celebrated with extravagant dancing, singing, drinking, etc.," which gives "etc." quite a workout.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper