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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.]


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


(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.
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


[ˌsætəˈneɪlɪə] NPL (Saturnalia or Saturnalias (pl)) → saturnales fpl


SaturnaliaSaturnalien pl
(liter: = wild revelry) → wilde Feste pl, → Freudenfeste pl
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.
This was their day, their feast of fools, their saturnalia, the annual orgy of the corporation of Law clerks and of the school.
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.
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.
Lovecraft, and Ambrose Bierce--with a fine eye for readability over reputation, has assembled a selection of Mencken's Evening Sun "Free Lance" columns of 1911-1915 into a book called A Saturnalia of Bunk and contributed an informative introduction to it.
It was also the winter solstice that Celtic pagans celebrated and a time of Saturnalia in Ancient Rome.
Thus, writes Max, the date was celebrated as Saturnalia.
It's commonly believed that the church chose the date in an effort to replace the Roman Saturnalia with the Christian holiday.
If you missed out on the fun, there is a second opportunity to watch the parade as it returns today to present a double bill with Chester's Roman Legion for their torch lit Saturnalia parade.
For the Romans at least five days of feasting and partying called the Saturnalia, began on December 17.