Definition of bacchanal in English:



  • 1A wild and drunken celebration.

    ‘the debauched and alcoholic president was said to be organizing unceasing bacchanals’
    • ‘Coming from the comparatively sedate Toronto coffeehouse scene, the brothers were dropped into what must have seemed like a bacchanal.’
    • ‘Through her eyes we observe the absurdities of co-ed dorms and toilets, drunken frat bacchanals, and violent tailgate parties.’
    • ‘The night ended with more song, some dancing, and much good humour to go around - even the captain took part in the bacchanal and danced a verse or two of ‘Along the Petersburg Road.’’
    • ‘The movie tells the story of two middle-aged pals, Miles and Jack, attempting one last bachelor bacchanal before Jack gets married.’
    • ‘The party finishes on Ash Wednesday, and J'Ouvert on the preceding Thursday night signals the beginning of the real, hard-core bacchanal.’
    celebration, festivity, jollification, merrymaking, carousal, carouse, spree, debauch
    View synonyms
  • 2A priest, worshipper, or follower of Bacchus.

    merrymaker, partygoer, party animal, carouser, roisterer, good-time boy, good-time girl, pleasure seeker
    View synonyms


  • another term for bacchanalian
    • ‘What did shock me was that the hip-hop press, perhaps in a guilty, knee-jerk response to the bacchanal hip-hop that essentially gave rise to the genre in the first place, chose to ride along.’
    • ‘Right Bed, Wrong Husband is a production which assures steady laughs, from beginning to end, spiced with the bacchanal elements that local audiences love so well.’
    • ‘The blogs have been very successful, the surprise being that students' blogs aren't all bacchanal debauchery but have included some intensely personal writing and some well reasoned commentary.’
    • ‘With the proceeds of a very remunerative silent film in which he choreographed and danced a bacchanal scene, he re-channeled his life into a decade of travel and painting.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin bacchanalis, from the name of the god Bacchus.