Definition of Bacchanalia in English:


plural noun

  • 1also treated as singular The Roman festival of Bacchus.

    • ‘He was referring to the Bacchanalia, Roman religious festivals honoring the wine god, Bacchus.’
    • ‘In Roman times, a Bacchanalia was basically a very drunken orgy paying homage to the god of wine.’
    • ‘From Tmolus, the sacred mound, comes the exotic god of Bacchanalia with we disciples gathered round!’
    • ‘The Bacchanalia got so out of hand that they were forbidden by the Roman Senate in 186 BCE.’
    • ‘The Bacchanalia and the Liberalia were related religious festivals in ancient Rome, in honor of Bacchus.’
  • 2also treated as singular Drunken celebrations.

    ‘the bacchanalia that marked the night’
    • ‘This weekend was not quite the bacchanalia of the one prior, but there were some late nights nevertheless.’
    • ‘I had the intense good fortune - or the abject misfortune, depending on your point of view - to come of age in Manchester in 1988, a time that was bookmarked by the lawless, reckless and thoroughly groovy bacchanalia of acid house.’
    • ‘Viticulturally speaking, a floating college kegger may not qualify as Bacchanalia.’
    • ‘Thursday is payday, Friday is escape, Saturday offers brief bacchanalia and Sunday is for rest and regrets.’
    • ‘It was, from the benefit of my desk in Scotland, something of a Bacchanalia, but boy was it fun.’
    • ‘Inspired by our collective thirst for art and bacchanalia, the first of these parties, ‘Yo, Bum Rush the Show’ was a wild success.’
    • ‘He says he ‘never took a drug in my life ‘, although he retains a theoretical fascination for rock'n'roll bacchanalia.’
    • ‘So, having imbibed too much at the previous night's wild Bacchanalia, what is the prescription which should now be followed in order to relieve the distress of this thunderous hangover most swiftly?’
    • ‘Harriman was also reckless, disregarding a doctor-ordered ban on drinking, often dropping the cost of a college education on a single evening of bacchanalia.’
    • ‘All around her, bacchanalia were in full flow, men and women of all ages punching the air and shouting ‘Don't Stop Me’ as the Friday night binge began its headlong rush into the early hours.’
    • ‘I was greatly relieved to learn, on arriving in the village of Kaibola, that I had missed the annual bacchanalia by a good few weeks.’
    • ‘He turned a few more pages and saw a pic of him and Emily which was taken at the Bacchanalia.’
    • ‘The Bacchanalia takes place to the soundtrack of hate-fuelled gangsta rap. • How does this conservative look forward to a new Tom Wolfe novel?’
    • ‘Rampant bacchanalia may be what actually promotes his night owl tendencies.’
    • ‘This did not mean living life as one long Bacchanalia.’
    • ‘The orgies and bacchanalia all exist elsewhere.’
    • ‘But over the years, as he gravitated more toward the bacchanalia of New York's art crowd, he found that his guerilla filmmaking had become ‘hip.’’
    • ‘That, of course, made us the perfect roommates, and together we launched ourselves into the bacchanalia that was New York in the 1970s.’
    • ‘Next weekend the capital will be overrun by television types, in town for their weekend bacchanalia.’
    • ‘Spring break rarely passes without a few nose-held news accounts of the bacchanalia.’
    drinking bout, debauch
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from Latin bacchanalia, neuter plural of the adjective bacchanalis (see bacchanal).