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n. pl. thyr·si (-sī) Mythology
A staff tipped with a pine cone and twined with ivy, carried by Dionysus, Dionysian revelers, and satyrs.

[Latin, from Greek thursos.]
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 -si (-saɪ)
1. (Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a staff, usually one tipped with a pine cone, borne by Dionysus (Bacchus) and his followers
2. (Botany) a variant spelling of thyrse
[C18: from Latin, from Greek thursos stalk]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈθɜr səs)

n., pl. -si (-sī).
1. thyrse.
2. a staff tipped with a pine cone and sometimes twined with ivy leaves, borne by Dionysus and his votaries.
[1585–95; < Latin < Greek thýrsos plant stem, thyrsus]
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.thyrsus - a dense flower cluster (as of the lilac or horse chestnut) in which the main axis is racemose and the branches are cymosethyrsus - a dense flower cluster (as of the lilac or horse chestnut) in which the main axis is racemose and the branches are cymose
flower cluster - an inflorescence consisting of a cluster of flowers
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
They surround five main panels, in fluid cross-shapes: four maenads or bacchantes, each clutching a tambourine and a thyrsus, and at the very centre, a kneeling man being speared by a woman.
The typical 'Andalusian set' defined by Rouillard (1991: 184), composed of bell kraters and kylikes, is well documented in the osM, as are the works of some of the vase painters most commonly represented in that area, such as the Black Thyrsus Painter and the Vienna Group 116 (ibidem).
Agave is so possessed during the murder--foaming at the mouth, eyes rolling back--that she doesn't recognize her child and ends up with his head impaled on top of her thyrsus. In the end, Agave's tragic recognition of what she's done destroys her in a scene so searing that, as Carson once noted when speaking about King Kreon in Antigone, Aristotle would have "underlined [it] with his highlighter pen." Lesson learned: Go with the gods.
ecstatics, they were the thyrsus and the stylus, the healthy narcissus.
Charles Baudelaire, for instance, in his prose-poem "Le Thyrse: A Franz Liszt," praises the musician's intense physical and emotional virtuosity, his blending of masculine strength and feminine grace, through the analogy of the phallic or conductor's baton-like flowering Thyrsus: "Le baton, c'est votre volonte, droite, ferme et inebranlable; les fleurs, c'est la promenade de votre fantaisie autour de votre volonte; c'est l'element feminin executant autour de male ses prestigieuses pirouettes" ["The baton is your Will, straight and firm and steadfast; the flowers are the motions of your fancy round that will, the feminine principle executing its hypnotic pirouettes round the male"] (144, 145).
That "Michael Field" subsequently took the Bacchic staff of the Maenads, the thyrsus pole, as the emblem for the covers of their works affirms Bradley and Cooper's devotion to what Ahmed calls a stray's philosophy.
After Pentheus is torn apart by the Bacchae, his mother, Agave, returns to the city carrying the "head of a young lion" (her son, Pentheus) on a thyrsus. The director's requirement were that the duplicate head 1) needed to be a believable replica of the actor playing Pentheus, both from a distance and up close, 2) needed to appear to be screaming, 3) needed to "sound like wet meat" when dropped, and 4) needed to bleed onstage on demand (when the thyrsus was removed).
(23) Ovid, in fact, makes no mention of knives in the death of Pentheus, although Agave hurls a thyrsus, or pinecone-topped fennel staff, at him.
In desert moonlight, I see David Cohen, naked and clasping his Dionysian thyrsus, leading 200 Radical Faeries up a mysterious desert ravine to a circle outlined with a hundred hurricane candles with a blazing fire at the center.
From all sides the familiar shout is raised and Achilles once more brandishes the thyrsus.