"drunken revelry," 1630s, through the title for the Roman event held honoring Bacchus, from neuter plural of Latin bacchanalis (see bacchanal). A participant is a Bacchant (1690s), fem. Bacchante, from French. The plural of both is Bacchantes.
an orgiastic event in old Greece honoring Dionysus (= Bacchus)
- a wild gathering concerning extortionate consuming and promiscuity
- A feast or an orgy honoring Bacchus.
- For this reason: A drunken feast; drunken reveler.
(n. pl.) A feast or an orgy honoring Bacchus.
- (n. pl.) ergo: A drunken feast; drunken reveler.
The evil reputation of these festivals, at which the grossest debaucheries took place, and all kinds of crimes and political conspiracies were supposed to be planned, led in 186 B.C. to a decree of the senate - the so-called Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Calabria (1640), now at Vienna - by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited throughout the whole of Italy, except in certain special cases, in which the senate reserved the right of allowing them, subject to certain restrictions.