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Bacchanal   Listen
noun
Bacchanal  n.  
1.
A devotee of Bacchus; one who indulges in drunken revels; one who is noisy and riotous when intoxicated; a carouser. "Tipsy bacchanals."
2.
pl. The festival of Bacchus; the bacchanalia.
3.
Drunken revelry; an orgy.
4.
A song or a dance in honor of Bacchus.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Bacchanal" Quotes from Famous Books



... she could suffer no more. At the beginning of the winter of 1780, the celebration of St. Andrew's day by Charles Edward and his drinking companions, was followed by a scene over which Alfieri drops a modest veil, calling it vaguely a violent bacchanal which endangered the life of his lady. From the biographers of Charles Edward we learn that the Pretender roused his wife in the middle of the night with a torrent of insulting language which provoked her to vehement ...
— The Countess of Albany • Violet Paget (AKA Vernon Lee)

... softness of my cheek on which my ringlets fall, nor caring for the purple glow of virginity under my lids, the blush of my countenance, I am borne along the bacchanal of the dead, rending the fillet from my hair, rejecting the saffron robe of delicateness, having the mournful office of conducting the dead. Alas! alas! woe is me! Oh Polynices, thou well answeredst to thy name! ...
— The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I. • Euripides

... during the morning; at noon all lights are turned off. Many of the workers went out for lunch, the rest got around in dismal corners, most of them singly, and ate by their machines, on the same hard seats they have been on since a quarter to 8. What a bacchanal festival of color and beauty now appeared the candy-factory whitewashed lunch room with the marble-topped tables! The airy sociability of it! I wandered about with my lunch in my hand, to see what I could see. Up amid the belts and power machines ...
— Working With the Working Woman • Cornelia Stratton Parker

... remain altogether insensible. The atmosphere, impregnated with Russian tobacco and the bluish vapor which filled the room, revealed in what manner the betrayed lover had diverted his impatience, and in the centre of the writing-table a cup with a bacchanal painted in red on a black ground, of which Julien was very proud, contained the remains of about thirty cigarettes, thrown aside almost as soon as lighted. Their paper ends had been gnawed with a nervousness ...
— Cosmopolis, Complete • Paul Bourget

... towards the table, and retire with their loads of lusciousness. Grinning boys were up to their ears in juice, girls, bare-armed and bare-necked, reached for plates held teasingly aloft. It was all rather innocently bacchanal—a picture which for Becky had an absolutely impersonal quality. She had entertained her guests as she had eaten her dinner, outwardly doing the normal and conventional thing, while her mind was chaotic. This jumble of people on the lawn seemed unreal and detached. The only ...
— The Trumpeter Swan • Temple Bailey

... vain: strike other chords; Fill high the cup with Samian wine! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes, And shed the blood of Scio's vine! Hark! rising to the ignoble call— How answers each bold Bacchanal! ...
— The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 • Ministry of Education

... on the arm of a Syrian bacchanal, he burst into tears. "What is a future life! Achilles was right,—better be a slave in the world beneath the sun than a king in Cimmerian regions. And still the question whether there are any gods—since it is unbelief—is destroying ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... The rest of the Caesars successively advanced to their seats; and as they passed, the vices, the defects, the blemishes of their respective characters, were maliciously noticed by old Silenus, a laughing moralist, who disguised the wisdom of a philosopher under the mask of a Bacchanal. [3] As soon as the feast was ended, the voice of Mercury proclaimed the will of Jupiter, that a celestial crown should be the reward of superior merit. Julius Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, and Marcus Antoninus, were selected as the most illustrious ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... suspended from the branches; another, a naked boy, beautifully wrought, with a lamp hanging from one hand, and an instrument for trimming it from the other, the lamp itself representing a theatrical mask. Beside him is a twisted column surmounted by the head of a Faun or Bacchanal, which has a lid in its crown, and seems intended as a reservoir of oil. The boy and pillar are both placed on a square plateau raised upon lions' claws. But beautiful as these lamps are, the light which they gave must have been weak and unsteady, ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... slain—peasants mourning over their trampled crops and plundered habitations—and widows and orphans searching for the bodies of husbands and parents, amid the promiscuous carnage of two combats. Thus wo mingled her wildest notes with those of jubilee and bacchanal triumph, and the plain of the Garde Doloureuse formed a singular parallel to the varied maze of human life, where joy and grief are so strangely mixed, and where the confines of mirth and pleasure often border on those ...
— The Betrothed • Sir Walter Scott

... fierce, now faint, But ever fever-sick, shook not his lyre With epileptic fervours. Sensual taint Of satyr heat, or bacchanal desire, Polluted not the passion of his song; No corybantic clangor clamoured through Its manly harmonies, as sane as strong; So that the captious few Found sickliness in pure Elysian balm, And coldness ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 103, October 15, 1892 • Various

... and suppers at the houses of college acquaintances. Sometimes she one-stepped demurely; sometimes, in dread of life's slipping past, she turned into a bacchanal, her tender eyes excited, her throat tense, as ...
— Main Street • Sinclair Lewis

... sling [U.S.], uisquebaugh [Ire.], usquebaugh [Scot.], whisky, xeres^. drunkard, sot, toper, tippler, bibber^, wine-bibber, lush; hard drinker, gin drinker, dram drinker; soaker [Slang], sponge, tun; love pot, toss pot; thirsty soul, reveler, carouser, Bacchanal, Bacchanalian; Bacchal^, Bacchante^; devotee to Bacchus^; bum [U.S.], guzzler, tavern haunter. V. get drunk, be drunk &c adj.; see double; take a drop too much, take a glass too much; drink; tipple, tope, booze, bouse [Fr.], guzzle, swill [Slang], soak [Slang], ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... we tiptoe towards the crux of this phenomenon, the Bacchanal of Presbyterianism is an artificial climax. Unlike the day of the later Caesars, the populace does not abandon itself in imitation of its Neros and Caligulas. Instead, we have the spectacle of a populace apathetic toward the spirit ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... characterization and a turn of speech in surprising contrast to his previous academic Lyrical Poems (1894). His Odes (1901) contains his ripest work; two poems in particular, "The Threshold" and "The Bacchanal of Alexander," ...
— Modern British Poetry • Various

... 'It's a Bacchanal group, after Poussin, sculptured by Marin. I bought it at Lord Breakdown's sale; it happened to be a wet day—much such a day as this—and things went for nothing. This you'll know, I presume?' observed Jawleyford, laying his hand on a life-size ...
— Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour • R. S. Surtees

... through the skies. And reckless feet, fitful with wine and woe, And songs of revel that fall dead about Her ruined beauty—sadder than a wail— (As if the sweet maternal eve for pity Took out the joy, and, with a blush of twilight, Uncrowned the Bacchanal)—some outraged sister Passeth, be patient, think upon yon heaven, Where angels hail the Magdalen, look down Upon that life in death, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... purses, all flung themselves into a reckless orgy of high living and ordered without reckoning. It was the gay rendezvous of the girls and the Johnnies, the sporting men and the roues—in a word, the nightly bacchanal of New York qui s'amuse. In the atmosphere, heavily charged with tobacco smoke, floated a strange, indefinable perfume—an odor in which the vulgar smell of cooking struggled for the mastery with the subtle essences ...
— The Easiest Way - A Story of Metropolitan Life • Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow

... it as by the roar of a great waterfall. You see a wave of unusual magnitude rolling in from far beyond the wild revelry of waters on 'The Rips.' It leaps into the arena as if fresh and eager for the fray, clutches another Bacchanal like itself, and the two towering floods rush swiftly toward the shore. Instinctively you run backward to escape what seems an impending destruction. Very likely a sheet of foam is dashed all around you, shoe-deep, but you are safe—only ...
— Elsie at Nantucket • Martha Finley

... chant, and the dance, as in most of the preceding exhibitions, each of which, like this of Bacchus, had contained allusions to the peculiar habits and attributes of the different deities. The bacchanal that closed the scene was performed in character; the trumpets flourished, and the procession departed in the order in ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... the fool! It's the same insane orgy every year, the same waste of money when there's so much need and so much suffering! But I see! It's the orgy, the bacchanal, that is to still the ...
— An Eagle Flight - A Filipino Novel Adapted from Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... be parodied, even parody. The Saturnalia, that grimace of antique beauty, ends, through exaggeration after exaggeration, in Shrove Tuesday; and the Bacchanal, formerly crowned with sprays of vine leaves and grapes, inundated with sunshine, displaying her marble breast in a divine semi-nudity, having at the present day lost her shape under the soaked rags of the North, has finally come to be ...
— Les Miserables - Complete in Five Volumes • Victor Hugo

... one. It is with this 'Altar of Bacchus' that the poem in question deals. But coming to modern times, many of the Rhine drinking songs are also concerned to some extent with patriotism—an element which seems to go hand in hand with the bacchanal the world over!—and a typical item in this category is the Rheinweinlied of Georg Hervegh, a poet of the first half of the nineteenth century. A better patriotic song of Rhine-land, however, is one by a slightly earlier poet, Wolfgang ...
— Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine • Lewis Spence

... year was not a brilliant one. Colville's party seemed to be always meeting the same maskers on the street, and the maskers did not greatly increase in numbers. There were a few more of them after nightfall, but they were then a little more bacchanal, and he felt it was better that the ladies had gone home by that time. In the pursuit of the tempered pleasure of looking up the maskers he was able to make the reflection that their fantastic and vivid dresses sympathised in a striking way ...
— Indian Summer • William D. Howells

... watered now as he thought of that mad bacchanal banquet of choice wines and dishes, to which princes and lords had sat down on the dirty benches of the public-house. Goblets were drained in competition to the sound of cannon, and the judges who awarded the prize to the Prince, were presented by him ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... inn a sanctum sanctorum where only were allowed the bailies of the burgh, a tacksman of position, perhaps, from the landward part, or the like of the Duke's Chamberlain, who was no bacchanal, but loved the company of honest men in their hours of manumission. Here the bottle was of the best, and the conversation most genteel—otherwise there had been no Sim MacTaggart in the company where he reigned the ...
— Doom Castle • Neil Munro

... writer of the early nineteenth century, "the evening of the vigil is scarcely dark when numbers of men, women, and boys are seen traversing the streets with torches, and many of them supplied with tambourines, which they strike loudly as they move along in a kind of Bacchanal procession. There is a tradition here that the shepherds who visited Bethlehem on the day of the Nativity had instruments of this sort upon which they expressed the sentiment of joy that animated them when ...
— Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan • Clement A. Miles

... was perfectly clear, but he staggered a trifle as he followed the men along the edge of the dancing space to the stairway. The music crashed furiously. Fred's associates were giving all their attention to treading the uncertain steps of their tawdry bacchanal, so they ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... The last bacchanal painted by Renovales was in a fashionable bar in New York. His pageant of the Abruzzi was in one of the noblest castles in Russia. Another picture, representing a dance of countesses disguised as shepherdesses in a field of violets, ...
— Woman Triumphant - (La Maja Desnuda) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... then, As I pay nothing now with the dipping of my pen For her brother's music when he drummed the tambourine And stamped his feet, which made the workmen passing grin, While his mouth-organ changed to a rascally Bacchanal dance "Over the hills and far away." This and his glance Outlasted all the fair, farmer and auctioneer, Cheap-jack, balloon-man, drover with crooked stick, and steer, Pig, turkey, goose, and duck, Christmas Corpses ...
— Last Poems • Edward Thomas

... the young husband to fling Love's garland away in life's beautiful spring, To scatter the roses Hope wreath'd for her brow In the dust, and abandon his partner to woe? The wine-cup can answer. The Bacchanal's bowl Corrupted life's chalice, and poison'd his soul. It chill'd the warm heart, added fire to the brain, Gave to pleasure and passion unbridled the rein; Till the gentle endearments of children and wife Only roused the fell demon to ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... very bad third, panting—it pleased me to imagine how sorely—across the lower slopes to the eastward. The janitor leaned against his toll-bar and still followed me with a stare. Doubtless by my uncovered head and gala dress he judged me an all-night reveller—a strayed Bacchanal fooling in the ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Tartarean abyss. The rest of the Caesars successively advanced to their seats; and as they passed, the vices, the defects, the blemishes of their respective characters, were maliciously noticed by old Silenus, a laughing moralist, who disguised the wisdom of a philosopher under the mask of a Bacchanal. As soon as the feast was ended, the voice of Mercury proclaimed the will of Jupiter, that a celestial crown should be the reward of superior merit. Julius Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, and Marcus Antoninus, were selected as the most illustrious candidates; the effeminate Constantine ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... of food. The daughters of the house, when they were obliged to replenish the biscuits, approached as warily as Indians, and, having succeeded in their purpose, fled with ill-concealed trepidation. The Swede domineered the whole feast, and he gave it the appearance of a cruel bacchanal. He seemed to have grown suddenly taller; he gazed, brutally disdainful, into every face. His voice rang through the room. Once when he jabbed out harpoon-fashion with his fork to pinion a biscuit, the weapon nearly impaled the hand of the Easterner which had been ...
— The Monster and Other Stories - The Monster; The Blue Hotel; His New Mittens • Stephen Crane

... Yankees would be wiped out of the Peninsula as soon as Jack Magruder got his nails pared for fight; how three Yankees had been gobbled that day, and how others were in the net to be taken in the morning. The bacchanal was at its highest when Jack, dashing into the open doorway, placed himself between the drinkers and their arms, and cried, sternly, as he pointed his ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... in their regard of very open peccadilloes, especially those animated by passion or a desire for amusement, thinking probably that were stones to be thrown only by the guiltless, there would be none to lift one; certainly no white in Tahiti. The dithyramb of a bacchanal sounded, and the outlaw dentist was reminded of his former intimate friend, King ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... air of the "Collier's dochter," Burns bids Thomson add the following old Bacchanal: it is slightly altered from ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... purple and tawny with the terrible colours of port. All this must the wild abstainer feel, as he rolls in the long soaking grass, kicks his ecstatic heels to heaven, and listens to the roaring rain. It is he, the water drinker, who ought to be the true bacchanal of the forests; for all the forests are drinking water. Moreover, the forests are apparently enjoying it: the trees rave and reel to and fro like drunken giants; they clash boughs as revellers clash cups; they roar undying thirst ...
— A Miscellany of Men • G. K. Chesterton

... I have that thought, I should not love thee; Thy soul is proof to all things but to kindness; And therefore 'twas that I forbore to tell thee, How mad Cassandra, full of prophecy, Ran round the streets, and, like a Bacchanal, Cried,—Hold him, Priam, 'tis an ominous day; Let him not go, for Hector is ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... squashes, huge apples and potatoes want the beauty and quality that belong to them out of doors, when they are gathered into the sections of a county fair-house; piles of melons fail of their poetry on a wooden floor, and heaps of grapes cannot assert themselves in a very bacchanal profusion against the ignominy of being spread upon long tables and ticketed with the names ...
— The Coast of Bohemia • William Dean Howells

... of this life Quadratilla broke like a thunder-squall. Whatever feelings had prompted her to leave her fashionable resort, her mood after she arrived was characteristically Bacchanal. She had a genius for making the tenderest feeling or the deepest conviction seem absurd. Rufus did not know whether to be more angry at her open hint to Pliny that his childlessness was like that of so many millionaires of the day, a voluntary lure for the attention of legacy hunters, or ...
— Roads from Rome • Anne C. E. Allinson

... life. As realists the Russians easily lead all other nations in fiction. There are descriptions of woodlands that recall a little scene from Turgenieff's Sportsman's Sketches; there are episodes, such as the bacchanal in the monastery, a moonlit ride in the canoe with a realistic seduction episode, and the several quarrels that would have pleased both Tolstoy and Dostoievsky; there is an old mujik who seems to have stepped out of Dostoievsky, yet ...
— Ivory Apes and Peacocks • James Huneker

... Maia; And honour with three, the band zone-free, The band of the bright Aglaia. But since every bud in the wreath of pleasure Ye owe to the sister Hours, No stinted cups, in a formal measure, The Bromian law makes ours. He honors us most who gives us most, And boasts, with a Bacchanal's honest boast, He never will count the treasure. Fastly we fleet, then seize our wings, And plunge us deep in the sparkling springs; And aye, as we rise with a dripping plume, We'll scatter the spray round the garland's bloom; We glow—we glow, Behold, as the girls of the Eastern wave Bore once ...
— The Last Days of Pompeii • Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

... quietly to empty the glass under the table or out of a window, if this can be done without observation,—and most young men are not very observing at such times. Under the window, outside, sat a party of the cuirassiers drinking, about a dozen of whom made a sudden irruption into that bacchanal chamber, and, with little explanation, proceeded to clear it of its tenants and guests, knocking down, beating, and pitching them headlong down-stairs, until the work was done. There were sundry flesh-bruises inflicted, some small blood-vessels lying near ...
— Atlantic Monthly,Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... has assumed his disguise, and comes forth tricked up with false hair and the dress of a Bacchanal; but still with some misgivings at the thought of going thus attired through the streets of Thebes, and with many laughable readjustments of the unwonted articles of clothing. And with the woman's dress, his madness is closing faster round him; just before, ...
— Greek Studies: A Series of Essays • Walter Horatio Pater

... most casual circumstances, out of anything from people passing on the street to an impromptu concert of a street band. In scanty garments, in the glare of a multi-colored spotlight, the girl danced a hybrid of every dance from the earliest Grecian bacchanal to the latest alleged Apache importation ...
— The Film Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve

... money—possesses the reader as a nightmare possesses the dreamer. For the time this place of wide prospect, the world, puts up its shutters; and life becomes all drink, all war, all money, while M. Zola (adaptable Bacchanal!) surrenders his brain to the intoxication of his latest theme. He will drench himself with ecclesiology, or veterinary surgery, or railway technicalities—everything by turns and everything long; but, like the gentleman in the comic ...
— Adventures in Criticism • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... detailed list. Succeeding generations have put to strange uses some of the fine marble reliefs that Guiscard transported hither from Paestum, and we note that one archbishop has gone so far as to filch a sarcophagus carved with a Bacchanal procession to serve for his own tomb. We might perhaps infer that the deceased prelate was addicted to the wine-flask, and to have been a firm believer in and follower of one of the rules of the medical school ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... thee on fire, Enamoured with their utter wish of thee, Anadyomene! What vine-outquickening life all creatures sup, Feel, for the air within its sapphire cup How it does leap, and twinkle headily! Feel, for Earth's bosom pants, and heaves her scarfing sea; And round and round in bacchanal rout reel the swift ...
— New Poems • Francis Thompson

... of the Greeks, just before the final catastrophe, the chorus is supposed to advance to the centre of the theatre and sing a bacchanal of frensied exultation. ...
— Threads of Grey and Gold • Myrtle Reed



Words linked to "Bacchanal" :   revelry, saturnalia, debauchery, toper, drunken reveller, bacchant, drunken revelry, revel, orgiastic, drunken reveler, drinker, devotee, lover, orgy, imbiber, bacchanalian, fan, intoxicated, riot, buff, juicer, inebriated, carousing, debauch



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