orgy

noun or·gy \ ˈȯr-jē \
Updated on: 14 Apr 2018

Definition of orgy

plural orgies
1 : secret ceremonial rites held in honor of an ancient Greek or Roman deity and usually characterized by ecstatic singing and dancing
  • Roman orgies in honor of Bacchus
2 a : drunken revelry
b : a sexual encounter involving many people; also : an excessive sexual indulgence (see indulgence 4a)
3 : excessive indulgence (see indulgence 4a) in something especially to satisfy an inordinate appetite or craving
  • an orgy of destruction
  • a national orgy of thrill seeking and risk taking
  • —K. T. Greenfeld

Recent Examples of orgy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orgy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Unsexy orgies

Orgy is a word which for many immediately conjures salacious imagery and blushed cheeks. However, both the oldest and the most recently-adopted senses of this word contain meanings which may not be at all sexual in nature. The word first came into English in the middle of the 16th century in reference to secret ceremonial rites, particularly those of the Romans and ancient Greeks, which involved singing and dancing. The licentious meaning was not added until the beginning of the 18th century. And the most recent senses (“a riotous display” and “a manifestation of extreme indulgence”), which may describe such things as an assembly of garish colors or a spectacle of destruction, appear to date from the late 19th century.

Origin and Etymology of orgy

Middle French orgie, from Latin orgia, plural, from Greek; akin to Greek ergon work — more at work

ORGY Defined for English Language Learners

orgy

Definition of orgy for English Language Learners

  • : a wild party and especially one in which many people have sex together

  • : something that is done too much and in a wild way


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