• synonyms


[thur-suh s]
noun, plural thyr·si [thur-sahy] /ˈθɜr saɪ/.
  1. Botany. a thyrse.
  2. Greek Antiquity. a staff tipped with a pine cone and sometimes twined with ivy and vine branches, borne by Dionysus and his votaries.
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Origin of thyrsus

1585–95; < Latin < Greek thýrsos Bacchic staff, stem of plant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for thyrsus

Historical Examples

  • The faces of the two satyrs and the head of the thyrsus are also much mutilated.

    The American Journal of Archaeology, 1893-1


  • He is surrounded by his usual rout of attendants, one of whom bears a thyrsus.

  • The spears were wrapped round with ivy, and the thyrsus had a sharp point.

    The Gates of India

    Thomas Holdich

  • A contracted or elongated inflorescence of this sort is called a Thyrsus.

  • Thyrse or Thyrsus, a compact and pyramidal panicle of cymes or cymules, 79.

British Dictionary definitions for thyrsus


noun plural -si (-saɪ)
  1. Greek myth a staff, usually one tipped with a pine cone, borne by Dionysus (Bacchus) and his followers
  2. a variant spelling of thyrse
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Word Origin

C18: from Latin, from Greek thursos stalk
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 thyrsus


1590s, from Greek thyrsos, literally "stalk or stem of a plant," a non-Greek word of unknown origin. The staff or spear tipped with an ornament like a pine cone, and sometimes wreathed in ivy or vine branches, borne by Dionysus and his votaries.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper