Dionysian

adjective
Di·​o·​ny·​sian | \ ˌdī-ə-ˈni-zhē-ən How to pronounce Dionysian (audio) , -ˈnē-, -shē-, -zē-, -sē-; -zhən, -shən \

Definition of Dionysian

1a : of or relating to Dionysius
b : of or relating to the theological writings once mistakenly attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite
2a : devoted to the worship of Dionysus
b : characteristic of Dionysus or the cult of worship of Dionysus especially : being of a frenzied or orgiastic character — compare apollonian

Did you know?

Dionysus was the Greek forerunner of Bacchus. He was the inventor of wine, which he gave to the human race. For that gift and for all the wild behavior that it led to, Dionysus became immensely popular, and he appears in a great many myths. He is often shown holding a wine goblet, with his hair full of vine leaves, and attended by a band of goat-footed satyrs and wild female spirits called maenads. In the 19th century, scholars such as Nietzsche claimed that the ancient world could be understood as a continuing conflict between the attitudes represented by Apollo and Dionysus--that is, between order and disorder, between moderation and excess, between the controlled and the ecstatic.

First Known Use of Dionysian

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About Dionysian

Time Traveler for Dionysian

Time Traveler

The first known use of Dionysian was in 1607

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near Dionysian

Dionysiac

Dionysian

Dionysius

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Dionysian

Cite this Entry

“Dionysian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Dionysian. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!