Saturnalia

Saturnalia

[sat-er-ney-lee-uh, -neyl-yuh]
noun, plural Saturnalia, Saturnalias.
1.
(sometimes used with a plural verb) the festival of Saturn, celebrated in December in ancient Rome as a time of unrestrained merrymaking.
2.
(lowercase) unrestrained revelry; orgy.

Origin:
1585–95; < Latin Sāturnālia, equivalent to Sāturn(us) Saturn + -ālia, neuter plural of -ālis -al1

Saturnalian, adjective
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Saturnalia (ˌsætəˈneɪlɪə)
 
n , pl -lia, -lias
1.  an ancient Roman festival celebrated in December: renowned for its general merrymaking
2.  (sometimes not capital) a period or occasion of wild revelry
 
[C16: from Latin Sāturnālis relating to Saturn1]
 
Satur'nalian
 
adj

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Word Origin & History

saturnalia
"time of merrymaking," 1591, from L. Saturnalia, ancient Roman festival of Saturn (held in December), a time of merrymaking for all, from neut. pl. of adj. Saturnalis "pertaining to Saturn," from Saturnus (see Saturn). The extended sense of "period of unrestrained revelry" is first attested 1782.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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