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Bacchanalia

[bak-uh-ney-lee-uh, -neyl-yuh] /ˌbæk əˈneɪ li ə, -ˈneɪl yə/
noun, plural Bacchanalia, Bacchanalias.
1.
(sometimes used with a plural verb) a festival in honor of Bacchus.
Compare Dionysia.
2.
(lowercase) a drunken feast; orgy.
Origin
1625-1635
1625-35; < Latin equivalent to Bacch(us) + -ān(us) -an + -ālia, neuter plural of -ālis -al1; probably modeled on volcānālia. See Saturnalia
Related forms
bacchanalian, adjective, noun
bacchanalianism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bacchanalian

bacchanalian

/ˌbækəˈneɪlɪən/
adjective
1.
characterized by or involving drunken revelry
2.
(often capital) of or relating to the orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus

bacchanalia

/ˌbækəˈneɪlɪə/
plural noun
1.
(often capital) orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus
2.
any drunken revelry
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
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Word Origin and History for bacchanalian
adj.

1560s; see bacchanalia + -an. As a noun from 1610s.

bacchanalia

n.

"drunken revelry," 1630s, from the name of the Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, from neuter plural of Latin bacchanalis (see bacchanal). A participant is a Bacchant (1690s), fem. Bacchante, from French. The plural of both is Bacchantes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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