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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 classic literature ?
This, then, is the trapper's holiday, when he is all for fun and frolic, and ready for a saturnalia among the mountains.
Wilcox and the Warringtons were gone to bed, and the kitchen was abandoned to Saturnalia. Consequently she went over to the George herself.
There sat Colonel Adams, still unaffectedly dressed as a pantaloon, with the knobbed whalebone nodding above his brow, but with his poor old eyes sad enough to have sobered a Saturnalia. Sir Leopold Fischer was leaning against the mantelpiece and heaving with all the importance of panic.
It was a saturnalia. In loud voices they shouted over the day's fighting, wrangled about details, or waxed affectionate and made friends with the men whom they had fought.
They lodged men and women on the same floor; and with the night there began a saturnalia of debauchery--scenes such as never before had been witnessed in America.
these Parisian saturnalias were the result of them, etc., etc.
Christmas was originally the Pagan festival of Winter Solstice, when the sun was farthest away from the Earth, also Saturnalia in Roman.
The events included the Chester Christmas Lights Switch On and Parade, Chester Lantern Parade, the Frodsham Christmas Festival, the Winter Watch Parades and the Roman Saturnalia.
In Roman times Holly was exchanged at the December festival of 'Saturnalia', a tradition that was adopted by early Christians and is the reason for its prominence as a Christmas decoration.
It is often remarked that Christmas has its roots in an ancient Roman, pagan festival, Saturnalia which was marked by all kinds of indulgent excesses.
Around December 25 the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, which originated as a farmers' festival to mark the end of the autumn planting season.
The date was selected as the day of Christmas because it was around the time of various Pagan festivals, such as the Roman Saturnalia.