Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Silenus: Marsyas


n. Greek Mythology
A satyr, usually depicted as drunken and jolly, in the entourage of Dionysus.

[Latin Sīlēnus, from Greek Sīlēnos.]


n. pl. si·le·ni (-nī) Greek Mythology
Any of the minor woodland deities and companions of Dionysus, depicted on Greek vases as men with the tails, ears, and hooves of horses.

[Latin sīlēnus, from Greek sīlēnos, from Sīlēnos, Silenus.]


npl Sileni (saɪˈliːnəɪ)
1. (Classical Myth & Legend) chief of the satyrs and foster father to Dionysus: often depicted riding drunkenly on a donkey
2. (Classical Myth & Legend) (often not capital) one of a class of woodland deities, closely similar to the satyrs


(saɪˈli nəs)

n., pl. -ni (-nī) for 2.
1. a forest spirit of the ancient Greeks, often represented as a bearded old man, and in some myths the foster father and teacher of Dionysus.
2. (l.c.) any of a group of forest spirits similar to satyrs.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Silenus - any of the minor woodland deities who were companions of Dionysus (similar to the satyrs)silenus - any of the minor woodland deities who were companions of Dionysus (similar to the satyrs)
Greek deity - a deity worshipped by the ancient Greeks
2.Silenus - the chief satyr in the service of Bacchus; father of Dionysus; usually depicted as drunk and jolly and riding a donkey
References in classic literature ?
And moreover I shall not hold it any dishonour to be so mounted, for I remember having read how the good old Silenus, the tutor and instructor of the gay god of laughter, when he entered the city of the hundred gates, went very contentedly mounted on a handsome ass.
He is ironical, provoking, questioning, the old enemy of the Sophists, ready to put on the mask of Silenus as well as to argue seriously.
With a slight turn of the head the glitter of the spectacles seemed to gauge the size of the beer saloon in the basement of the renowned Silenus Restaurant.
And if so, the police could have no special reason for watching Verloc's shop more closely than any other place known to be frequented by marked anarchists - no more reason, in fact, than for watching the doors of the Silenus.
In these so-called books, the chief lover, or Greek god, as he is admiringly referred to--by the way, they do not say which "Greek god" it is that the gentleman bears such a striking likeness to; it might be hump-backed Vulcan, or double-faced Janus, or even driveling Silenus, the god of abstruse mysteries.
Well, we might have at least brought a donkey, only a little donkey; that courageous beast which old Silenus loved to mount.
Otherwise you might fancy it was I who was sneering at the practice of devotion, which Miss Sharp finds so ridiculous; that it was I who laughed good-humouredly at the reeling old Silenus of a baronet-- whereas the laughter comes from one who has no reverence except for prosperity, and no eye for anything beyond success.
The praise of folly, as he went on, soared into a philosophy, and philosophy herself became young, and catching the mad music of pleasure, wearing, one might fancy, her wine-stained robe and wreath of ivy, danced like a Bacchante over the hills of life, and mocked the slow Silenus for being sober.
I overheard Jove, one day,' said Silenus, 'talking of destroying the earth; he said it had failed; they were all rogues and vixens, who went from bad to worse, as fast as the days succeeded each other.
Among their topics are the dialectical character of Antisthenes' speeches Ajax and Odysseus, crying for help: Socrates as Silenus in the Euthydemus, Xenophon's Socratic education in Memorabilia Book Four, fundamental parallels between Socrates' and Ischomachus' positions in the Oeconomicus, and political philosopher or savior of souls: Socrates in Themistius and Julian the Emperor.
99, The Co-operative, in-store only) With a mythical label straight out of Ancient Greece, this wine takes its name from Silenus, who, according to legend, was a companion to the wine god Bacchus.
Contract notice: Statutory risk insurance benefits for the needs of silenus.