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 (săt′ər-nā′lē-ə, -nāl′yə)
1. Saturnalia The ancient Roman seven-day festival of Saturn, which began on December 17.
2. (used with a sing. verb) A celebration marked by unrestrained revelry and often licentiousness; an orgy.

[Latin Sāturnālia, from neuter pl. of Sāturnālis, Saturnian, from Sāturnus, Saturn; see Saturn.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -lia or -lias
1. (Historical Terms) an ancient Roman festival celebrated in December: renowned for its general merrymaking
2. (sometimes not capital) a period or occasion of wild revelry
[C16: from Latin Sāturnālis relating to Saturn1]
ˌSaturˈnalian adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌsæt ərˈneɪ li ə, -ˈneɪl yə)

n., pl. -li•a, -li•as.
1. (sometimes used with a pl. v.) the festival of Saturn, celebrated in December in ancient Rome as a time of unrestrained merrymaking.
2. (l.c.) any unrestrained revelry; orgy.
[1585–95; < Latin Sāturnālia=Sāturn(us) Saturn + -ālia, neuter pl. of -ālis -al1]
Sat`ur•na′li•an, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Saturnalia - an orgiastic festival in ancient Rome in honor of Saturn
festival, fete - an organized series of acts and performances (usually in one place); "a drama festival"
2.Saturnalia - a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuitysaturnalia - a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity
revel, revelry - unrestrained merrymaking
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˌsætəˈneɪlɪə] NPL (Saturnalia or Saturnalias (pl)) → saturnales fpl
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


SaturnaliaSaturnalien pl
(liter: = wild revelry) → wilde Feste pl, → Freudenfeste pl
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
In every carnival feast, such as the Roman saturnalia, existing social relations are suspended or inverted: not only do slaves command their masters, but sovereignty is placed in the hands of a mock king (saturnalicius princeps) who takes the place of the legitimate king.
For these they receive in return gifts double their value" These Biennial artists, plucked from obscurity by the almighty Whitney curator only to be shoved back in their place when through, are the willing Saturnalicius princeps.
In ancient Rome, a Saturnalicius Princeps from the servant class was customarily chosen on December 17 to preside for several days over egalitarian festivities in which the hierarchical distinction between master and slave could be inverted and then abolished--as a way of temporarily restoring a mythic Golden Age of abundance and equality among all people.