plural noun
Bru·​ma·​lia | \ brüˈmālēə, -lyə\

Definition of Brumalia

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

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for Brumalia

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).

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on Brumalia

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


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!