Definition of bacchanal in English:



  • 1A wild and drunken celebration.

    ‘the debauched and alcoholic president was said to be organizing unceasing bacchanals’
    • ‘The movie tells the story of two middle-aged pals, Miles and Jack, attempting one last bachelor bacchanal before Jack gets married.’
    • ‘Through her eyes we observe the absurdities of co-ed dorms and toilets, drunken frat bacchanals, and violent tailgate parties.’
    • ‘Coming from the comparatively sedate Toronto coffeehouse scene, the brothers were dropped into what must have seemed like a bacchanal.’
    • ‘The party finishes on Ash Wednesday, and J'Ouvert on the preceding Thursday night signals the beginning of the real, hard-core bacchanal.’
    • ‘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.’’
  • 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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