orgy

noun
or·gy | \ˈȯr-jē \
plural orgies

Definition of orgy 

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

2a : drunken revelry

b : a sexual encounter involving many people also : an excessive sexual indulgence (see indulgence sense 4a)

3 : excessive indulgence (see indulgence sense 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

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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.

Examples of orgy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In Essex Street Market there used to be a pastry stall that had a model cake on display with an orgy on top: nude revelers barely concealed by a blanket of fondant. John Hodgman, New York Times, "Judge John Hodgman on Birthday Cakes, Erotic and Otherwise," 12 Jan. 2018 The unimaginable happens when Cassius meets the company's cocaine-snorting, orgy-hosting chief executive, Steve Lift (Armie Hammer). Tre'vell Anderson, latimes.com, "Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson aren't 'Sorry to Bother You' or the status quo," 28 June 2018 McCoy is certain that the victims’ deaths can be traced to the door of the richest family in Glasgow—whose ice-cold patriarch and his wastrel son are rumored to host orgies laced with drugs and sadism. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Glaswegian Goons," 4 May 2018 Of course, Logan doesn't interact with women in a platonic capacity, so the night ends with an orgy. refinery29.com, "Westworld Season 2, Episode 2 Recap: What The Hell Is "Glory"?," 30 Apr. 2018 An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite. Houston Chronicle, "Outside the Cineplex: 'Dangerous Liaisons' and 'Spaceballs'," 6 June 2018 Around 540 million years ago, the oldest ancestors of almost every living creature on Earth burst onto the scene during an orgy of evolution known as the Cambrian Explosion. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Oldest Footprints Show When Life On Earth Got Legs," 11 June 2018 The win, which will bring about a hopeful future for themselves and for their kind, was celebrated with the inclusive wedding between Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and Amanita (Freema Agyeman) and topped off with the biggest orgy scene yet of the series. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sense8' Boss Unpacks "Joyous" Series Finale," 10 June 2018 Yet Wolfe wasn’t always, to borrow the title of a Nora Ephron book, merely a wallflower at the orgy. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Tom Wolfe Kept a Close, Comical and Astonished Eye on America," 15 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of orgy

circa 1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for orgy

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

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Dictionary Entries near orgy

orgue

orguinette

orgulous

orgy

orhamwood

Orhon

ori-

Statistics for orgy

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for orgy

The first known use of orgy was circa 1561

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More Definitions for orgy

orgy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of orgy

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on orgy

Spanish Central: Translation of orgy

Nglish: Translation of orgy for Spanish Speakers

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