maenad

noun
mae·nad | \ˈmē-ˌnad \

Definition of maenad 

1 : bacchante

2 : an unnaturally excited or distraught woman

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Other Words from maenad

maenadic \mē-ˈna-dik \ adjective

Examples of maenad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

All across its 375 square feet swarm birds, masks and maenads—the besotted followers of the god Dionysus. Joshua Levine, Smithsonian, "Travel to Southern France for a Dazzling Taste of Ancient Rome," 24 May 2018 The libretto from the premiere has Orpheus being torn to pieces by maenads, the female devotees of Bacchus whose bloodthirsty rampages figure in both the mythology and evidently the historical truth of ancient Greece. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Monterverdi’s ‘Orfeo’ gets some new music in Berkeley," 21 Apr. 2018 An actor’s dance becomes a slaughter; a bathing nymph turns out to be one of a cluster of handless maenads. Douglas Wolk, New York Times, "Horror: Joyce Carol Oates’s ‘The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror,’ and More JUNE 1, 2016," 1 June 2016 Often faces turned up to address the sky, as with the maenads and nymphs whose shapes in Greek sculpture did so much to inspire Duncan. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: Sara Mearns Joins Isadora Duncan’s Maenads and Nymphs," 20 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maenad.' 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 maenad

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maenad

Latin maenad-, maenas, from Greek mainad-, mainas, from mainesthai to be mad; akin to Greek menos spirit — more at mind

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The first known use of maenad was in 1579

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