plural noun

: a pagan festival held at the winter solstice from which some features of the celebration of Christmas seem to have originated

Word History


borrowed from Late Greek broumália, borrowed from Latin *brūmālia, from neuter plural of brūmālis "of the winter solstice, of midwinter"

Note: The Greek word occurs in the writing of 6th-century Byzantine antiquaries such as John Malalas and in particular in the De Mensibus of John Lydus/John the Lydian, but Brūmālia is not attested in Classical Latin (nor, apparently, is there any evidence left by the Romans themselves for such a festival). See J.R. Crawford, "De Bruma et Brumalibus festis," Byzantinische Zeitschrift, Band 23 (Jahrgang 1914/19, published 1920), pp. 365-96 (the author's 1914 Harvard doctoral dissertation).

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Dictionary Entries Near Brumalia

Cite this Entry

“Brumalia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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