bac·​cha·​nal | \ ˈba-kə-nᵊl How to pronounce bacchanal (audio) , ˈbä-; ˌba-kə-ˈnal How to pronounce bacchanal (audio) , ˌbä-kə-ˈnäl How to pronounce bacchanal (audio) \

Definition of bacchanal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2a : a devotee of Bacchus especially : one who celebrates the Bacchanalia
b : reveler


bac·​cha·​nal | \ ˈba-kə-nᵊl How to pronounce bacchanal (audio) \

Definition of bacchanal (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or suggestive of the Bacchanalia : bacchanalian

Examples of bacchanal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There is the villa in Ostia where Marcello, undone by Steiner’s death, hosts an all-night bacchanal that spills out onto the beach at dawn. A.o. Scott, ELLE Decor, 20 Apr. 2021 After his family decides to sell their Hamptons estate, a man and his friends celebrate the end of their summer playground with a bacchanal. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2021 Whatever the artist chooses to mount will promptly be Instagrammed to death in an endless summer bacchanal of selfies. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2021 After his family decides to sell their Hamptons estate, a man and his friends celebrate the end of their summer playground with a bacchanal. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2021 One of WeWork’s earliest rituals was an event called Summer Camp, a multiday bacchanal where members indulged in water sports, ropes courses, and semi-clothed games of beer pong. Lizzie Widdicombe, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 On two stories and covering 1,600 square feet, their home is comfortable but not monumental, the living room fine for a party of 70, but not a bacchanal. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, 28 Mar. 2021 Normally, the preliminary rounds are splayed across the country, building interest toward a final long weekend, the basketball bacchanal known as the Final Four. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2021 The roving feast known as the 2021 South Beach Wine and Food Festival on Monday unveiled its full schedule of celebrity chefs and exclusive dinners for its sprawling bacchanal, returning May 20-23. Phillip Valys,, 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For those flying in, the week promised to be a kind of bacchanal for funding. Arielle Pardes, Wired, 28 Apr. 2021 Election Day was a communal, combative, boozy bacchanal. Jon Grinspan, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Apr. 2021 For chefs with a sense of adventure and edge, a visit by Bronson was an excuse for bacchanal, and validation of something edgier than mere culinary skill, presenting restaurants as sites of unimpeachable cool. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2021 For decades now, the trade deadline has served as the festive, frolicking bacchanal to which the Spurs never are invited — or at least choose to skip. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 25 Mar. 2021 The fourth episode, a modern twist on an age-old wartime plot, features an unexpectedly moving bacchanal. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2020 The live drums of BAM’s annual DanceAfrica bacchanal have been silenced. Elias Williams, National Geographic, 15 June 2020 At the end of several of the lectures, the classroom lights dim and silent scenes play out upstage — alcohol poisoning, an unplanned pregnancy, a bacchanal with shirtless dancing. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 14 Feb. 2020 Here were our five favorite moments from the Miami Beach bacchanal. Kat Bein, Billboard, 2 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bacchanal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bacchanal


1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bacchanal


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

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The first known use of bacchanal was in 1550

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Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bacchanal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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