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 The essence of Carnival, after all, is to turn logic on its head: the madness of bacchanal makes no sense whatsoever—and all the exuberant sense in the world. Baz Dreisinger, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Metal is something that is genuinely celebrated in Indonesia, a social bacchanal for riffs and shredding. Jason Pettigrew, SPIN, 30 June 2022 In both, Fire Island is depicted as a gay utopia, a carefree bacchanal soon to end with the appearance of a mysterious and deadly illness that seems to be targeting gay men. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 June 2022 Director Tom Gormican and his co-writer Kevin Etten have thrown a wild bacchanal to celebrate the career of perhaps the most versatile actor in American cinema history. Mike Postalakis, SPIN, 22 Apr. 2022 New Orleans's French Quarter immediately conjures certain images for travelers: Beignets at Café du Monde, the bacchanal of Bourbon Street, bachelor and bachelorette parties roaming around in matching T-shirts. Travel + Leisure, 12 Apr. 2022 That’s because the Blue Jays have massive aspirations of their own, which were hardly tempered during an offensive bacchanal against Texas to open the season at a bonkers Rogers Centre. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2022 For Driggers, who said she’s never really been drawn to the traditional beach bacchanal, the pandemic added another reason to avoid wild parties. Danya Perez, San Antonio Express-News, 12 Mar. 2022 Not accustomed to holding forth on the first night of the Boom Boom, the Order of Osiris welcomed thousands to its bacchanal at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. The Masked Observer, al, 15 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Despite the stately molding and marble stairs, though, the show was pure bacchanal from the moment Pollard, guitarists Doug Gillard and Bobby Bare Jr., drummer Kevin March, and bassist Mark Shue took the stage. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, 29 Aug. 2021 The jet set and glitterati descend here year-round for the white-sand beaches, bass-forward nightlife, and five heady days of Carnival bacchanal celebrations in February or March. Megan Wood, Travel + Leisure, 3 Aug. 2021 In retrospect, Levi sees Zola as a hyper-modernized take on timeless Greek fantasies, which often center on epic journeys marked by adventure, bacchanal, greed, romance, and betrayal. Samantha Hissong, Rolling Stone, 7 July 2021 For those flying in, the week promised to be a kind of bacchanal for funding. Arielle Pardes, Wired, 28 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near bacchanal




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for bacchanal

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bacchanal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on bacchanal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bacchanal


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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