or Si·le·nos, Sei·le·nos

[sahy-lee-nuh s]

noun, plural Si·le·ni [sahy-lee-nahy] /saɪˈli naɪ/ for 2. Classical Mythology.

a forest spirit, sometimes referred to as the oldest of the satyrs and the foster father, teacher, and companion of Dionysus: often represented as a bearded old man.
(lowercase) any of a group of forest spirits similar to satyrs: often represented as a drunken old man with the legs and ears of a horse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for silenus

Historical Examples of silenus

  • Comrade Ossipon, nicknamed the Doctor, went out of the Silenus beer-hall.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • It was Silenus, a teacher whose fame had gone through all the world.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd

  • For ten days there was feasting and games in the palace in honor of Silenus.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd

  • A satyr lifts her vest, while Silenus and other figures look on in admiration.

  • The beautiful statuette of Silenus, already described, was found in this house.

British Dictionary definitions for silenus


noun Greek myth

chief of the satyrs and foster father to Dionysus: often depicted riding drunkenly on a donkey
plural Sileni (saɪˈliːnəɪ) (often not capital) one of a class of woodland deities, closely similar to the satyrs
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 silenus


1710, from Greek Seilenos, foster-father of Bacchus and leader of the satyrs; the name is of unknown origin (Klein compares Thracian zilai "wine").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper