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 Pasta Napoletana is a fleshy bacchanal that tastes like someone scraped the top of a Meat Lover’s pizza onto a plate of spaghetti. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The Cheesecake Factory is the restaurant America wants, deserves," 20 Aug. 2019 Early on, his OnlyFans page was a bacchanal of foot fetishism. Jason Parham, WIRED, "When Influencers Switch Platforms—and Bare It All," 19 Aug. 2019 And in the early part of this decade, subscription music services like Spotify and Pandora, which offered an all-you-can-eat bacchanal of music for a monthly subscription fee, began to eat away at Apple’s advantage. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "A Farewell for iTunes," 3 June 2019 An 18-hour bacchanal marked the hotel’s launch on January 9, 1927. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "Inside Frank Gehry's Overhaul of Garden of Allah, L.A.’s Most Infamous Corner," 25 Feb. 2019 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,, "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

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,, "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


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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Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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The first known use of bacchanal was in 1550

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


to make a temporary encampment

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