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: a devotee of Bacchus
especially : one who celebrates the Bacchanalia


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bac·​cha·​nal ˈba-kə-nᵊl How to pronounce bacchanal (audio)
: of, relating to, or suggestive of the Bacchanalia : bacchanalian

Examples of bacchanal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
This resurgent interest in bacchanals — beer-cchanals? — is not limited to San Diego County. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2024 Friendship is the electronic music party cruise from Gary Richards, the longtime DJ and party promoter who launched the sailing bacchanal in 2018 and also founded HARD events. Katie Bain, Billboard, 29 Jan. 2024 When Hancock became governor of Massachusetts, his inauguration was a sober political ceremony that quickly morphed into a bacchanal. Guy Denton, National Review, 20 Jan. 2024 Behind the scenes during Art Basel Miami Beach—a weeklong bacchanal of parties, paintings, and pills held in the name of shopping for art This article was featured in the One Story to Read Today newsletter. Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic, 6 Dec. 2023 Chinese tourism noticeably rebounded during the nation’s eight-day Golden Week holiday, typically a tourism and spending bacchanal. Jacky Wong, WSJ, 9 Oct. 2023 Every year, social media pages are splashed with colorful images of feathers, powder and bacchanal–which could only mean one thing: Carnival has arrived. Kristin Braswell, Essence, 28 Sep. 2023 There’s even an orgiastic bacchanal and a dramatic courtroom finale. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2023 Burning Man, the annual 80,000-person bacchanal, happens about three hours outside of Reno, Nevada, in the Black Rock Desert every Labor Day. Alden Wicker, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023
The feast played out in both reality and in a bacchanal dream sequence. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Apr. 2023 Of course, production designer Florencia Martin knows all about this bacchanal world. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 1 Mar. 2023 The Who, Willie Nelson, and Lionel Ritchie headlined), the true heart of this musical bacchanal beats on its smaller stages and in tents, where local legends and knockout upstarts abound. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, 4 Jan. 2023 By the end of last week, the mood on the platform was half funeral, half bacchanal, as departing staff tweeted out farewells and others wondered gleefully whether the site would still be there by morning. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2022 This year’s bacchanal, hosted with Grindr and 818 Tequila, did not disappoint. Ian Malone, Vogue, 27 June 2022 Hosting a free-for-all bacchanal like the unlimited beverage service at the freeloader area necessitates that kind of expenditure. Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2021 Best New Chef winner, the presiding genie of a nightly bacchanal at the Beatrice Inn, the century-old former speakeasy in the West Village. Jay McInerney, Town & Country, 27 Sep. 2021 The Spring Awakening electronic music bacchanal returns ... in October. Christopher Borrelli,, 8 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bacchanal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Latin, shrine of Bacchus, probably back-formation from Bacchanalia

First Known Use


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1550, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bacchanal was in 1550

Dictionary Entries Near bacchanal

Cite this Entry

“Bacchanal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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