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


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 In March, as large gatherings around America were being canceled, the Winter Party in Miami drew guys from all over the country for a dance-music bacchanal. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Queer Nightlife Is About Being Together. The Coronavirus Is Testing That.," 10 June 2020 Here’s hoping their annual bacchanal takes place in September as scheduled. Jason Bailey, New York Times, "When the South by Southwest Film Festival announced it would screen," 28 Apr. 2020 Back in Houston, the bedraggled flight controllers skipped their customary splashdown party, a bacchanal to blow off steam and celebrate the accomplishment of daring things. Eric Berger & Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 5: Saving the crew of Apollo 13," 11 Apr. 2020 That money is gone forever if some or all of that two-week-long bacchanal gets canceled. Enforced social distancing will have specific consequences. Michael Taylor,, "Taylor: Small companies, service workers under threat from coronavirus fallout," 13 Mar. 2020 That’s how the trailer sets up the rowdy shenanigans in this quintessential spring break film, about two friends (David Knell and Perry Lang) who visit Fort Lauderdale for a spring break bacchanal. Erik Piepenburg, New York Times, "Spriiiing Breeeak, at Home," 19 Mar. 2020 Carnival goers should plan to attend the bacchanal for at least a week, starting from February 20th – February 26th, 2020. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "7 Soca Filled Events That Should Be On Your Radar in 2019," 30 Dec. 2019 Jab Jab J’ouvert also takes place on Carnival Friday and offers TWELVE HOURS of paint, powder, water, music and nonstop bacchanal from 3 pm to 3 am. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "Tell Dem We Reach! A First-Timer’s Guide to Caribana, Toronto's Caribbean Carnival," 24 July 2019 The annual retail bacchanal known as the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend is upon us again, and many big chains have reason to be fearful. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Black Friday Weekend Will Deepen the Divide Between Retail’s Winners and Losers," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The live drums of BAM’s annual DanceAfrica bacchanal have been silenced. Elias Williams, National Geographic, "New York’s arts scene remains shut down indefinitely—can it evolve and survive?," 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, "‘Fragments’ Review: Guest Lectures from a Famed Professor," 14 Feb. 2020 Here were our five favorite moments from the Miami Beach bacchanal. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The Five Best Moments at Gronk Beach 2020, a Super Bowl LIV Miami Bacchanal," 2 Feb. 2020 The ladies brought along family and friends, including fiancés Dennis McKinley and Paul Judge, for the bacchanal adventure which included lots of dips, sips and fun times in the island waters. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "'Real Housewives' Stars Porsha Williams and Tanya Sam Are Serving Bawdy in Jamaica," 9 Jan. 2020 The sprawling bacchanal known as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival returns Feb. 19-23 with more than 100 events, but the Broward component for 2020 will be leaner by half. Michael Mayo,, "Fort Lauderdale lineup cut in half for SoBe Wine & Food Fest, while Palm Beach presence grows," 16 Sep. 2019 That efficiency will be called on next week during Prime Day, a two-day retail bacchanal Amazon has been putting on since 2015. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "The only thing making Prime Day bearable for Amazon workers is the robots," 12 July 2019 J’ouvert morning is considered to be the official start of Carnival bacchanal for St. John Festival 2019. Anquanette Gaspard, Essence, "We Come To Fete! The Ultimate Guide To St. John Carnival," 27 June 2019 Prada cleverly conceived a hideaway that was, arguably, the most tranquil respite from the Basel bacchanal outside. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Kanye West, Venus Williams, Emma Roberts, and Theaster Gates Party With Prada in Miami," 7 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bacchanal

Time Traveler for bacchanal

Time Traveler

The first known use of bacchanal was in 1550

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bacchanal

Last Updated

19 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bacchanal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on bacchanal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bacchanal

Comments on bacchanal

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!