Dionysus


Di·o·ny·sus

noun \ˌdī-ə-ˈnī-səs, -ˈnē-\

Definition of DIONYSUS

:  bacchus

Origin of DIONYSUS

Latin, from Greek Dionysos
First Known Use: 1812

Dionysus

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Greek god of vegetation and fruitfulness, known especially as the god of wine and ecstasy. His Roman equivalent was Bacchus. He was known to the ancient Mycenaens, and he became one of the most important of all the Greek gods. A son of Zeus and (according to the standard tradition) Semele, he was brought up by the maenads, or bacchantes. The first creator of wine, he traveled widely teaching the winemaking art, with a following of satyrs, sileni (see satyr and silenus), and nymphs. Festivities called Dionysia or (among the Romans) Bacchanalia were held in his honour; in their earlier years they were wild, ecstatic occasions, and they have often been the subject of artistic representation. Dionysus originally appeared as a bearded man, but later more often as a slim youth. His principal attribute was the thyrsus, a wand bound with vine leaves. The dithyramb, a choral hymn in his honour, is often seen as the basis of Western drama.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: Dioön
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Dionysian
All Words Near: Dionysus

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up Dionysus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More