bacchanal

noun
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

bacchanal

adjective
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

More Stories Barak Goodman’s PBS documentary joins a catalog of works immortalizing the Boomers’ signature bacchanal—a catalog that is growing yet again for the occasion of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Why Woodstock Can Never Happen Again," 6 Aug. 2019 Dozens try to vault the fences to join in the bacchanal, a few are banished in handcuffs, others are shuttled to hospitals for treatment. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Lollapalooza review: A festival with a soul tries to peek out from a massive party," 5 Aug. 2019 Crisp, golden french fries are perfect for mopping up all of the remaining morsels and drips—this is what a bacchanal should look like. Sara Mae Albert, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Plan a Casual Chic Dinner Party," 2 Aug. 2019 Tensions peak when a bomb explodes at a beachfront motel during the yearly bacchanal, killing a handful of staff and tourists, each with a messy backstory for Veronica and Keith to probe. Judy Berman, Time, "Veronica Mars Is the Best TV Revival Since Twin Peaks," 19 July 2019 Roberta’s supper clubs transform into unbridled bacchanals, naked women gorging and purging, their howling bodies expanding with fat and joy. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "Lara Williams' 'Supper Club' is gluttonous, messy, nasty and loud — and unapologetic," 11 July 2019 This was the night the A’s could have used a raucous celebration on the field, a bacchanal of wearable Gatorade and shaving-cream pies. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "A’s can’t deliver a happy ending to a rough day, lose to Rays," 21 June 2019 The scene ends in an anarchic bacchanal for full ensemble, with bass tubas bellowing a portion of Lucifer’s theme. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Karlheinz Stockhausen Composes the Cosmos," 17 June 2019 Cass Bird gives the party of the year the silent-era treatment, transforming its already Fitzgeraldian decadence into a black-and-white bacchanal worthy of Buster Keaton. Vogue, "Watch Lady Gaga, Zoë Kravitz, and Other Met Gala Guests Party Like It’s 1929," 9 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 In a more modern era, Elsa Schiaparelli, fashion’s great subverter and Surrealist, delivered a toque hat of bacchanal grapes in 1939. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Fruit Prints Are This Summer’s Biggest Trend—But They Have a Long History in Fashion," 30 July 2018 The post-bacchanal creativity extends to the literary scene in Port of Spain. New York Times, "In Post-Carnival Trinidad, the Party Never Really Ends," 22 Feb. 2018 The entire country indulges in a week-long, blossomy bacchanal. Washington Post, "To compete with Japan’s cherry blossom bacchanal, D.C. needs to step up its game. Big time.," 2 Apr. 2018 Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, the front women of the incendiary heavy metal band Butcher Babies, howled about a bacchanal party during their performance Saturday at the Kansas Speedway. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Rockfest at the Kansas Speedway draws 30,000 — a big, loud, happy family," 3 June 2018 Participants say the Mad Max, death-race vibe by day is countered by a Burning Man bacchanal at night, fueled by beer but also lots of theatrics. Jason Nark, Philly.com, "Destined for the junkyard, beloved lemons hit the South Jersey track," 11 May 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.

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First Known Use of bacchanal

Noun

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bacchanal

Noun

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

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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The first known use of bacchanal was in 1550

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