[bak-uh-ney-lee-uh, -neyl-yuh]
noun, plural Bacchanalia, Bacchanalias.
(sometimes used with a plural verb) a festival in honor of Bacchus. Compare Dionysia.
(lowercase) a drunken feast; orgy.

1625–35; < Latin equivalent to Bacch(us) + -ān(us) -an + -ālia, neuter plural of -ālis -al1; probably modeled on volcānālia. See Saturnalia

bacchanalian, adjective, noun
bacchanalianism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bacchanalia (ˌbækəˈneɪlɪə)
pl n
1.  (often capital) orgiastic rites associated with Bacchus
2.  any drunken revelry

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"drunken revelry," 1630s, from the name of the Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus, from L. neut. pl. of bacchanalis (see Bacchus). A participant is a Bacchant (1690s), fem. Bacchante, from French. Related: Bacchanalian (adj., 1620s)
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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