Bacchanal Vs. Orgy

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sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
Hello teachers,

Orgy: a wild gathering marked by promiscuous sexual activity, excessive drinking.
Bacchanal: a drunken and riotous celebration.

Source: WR Dictionary

Are they same at meaning? I think there is no big difference between Orgy and Bacchanal.
But what's your idea? Is there any difference between them or not?

Many thanks in advance.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    My experience with these is limited, but basically a bacchanal involves drinking and an orgy involves sex, and if they end up so that you can't tell which of them it is any more, hey, it was a successful one.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Also everyone knows what an orgy is, but not everyone understands "bacchanal". An "orgy" can also be used metaphorically: "an orgy of chocolate-eating", for those sad people who don't get invited to the real thing.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Also everyone knows what an orgy is, but not everyone understands "bacchanal". An "orgy" can also be used metaphorically: "an orgy of chocolate-eating", for those sad people who don't get invited to the real thing.
    Thanks for answering. But I didn't ask (Orgy of something). I know what (Orgy of something) is.
    I just asked Orgy.

    Anyway, thanks for answering.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Also everyone knows what an orgy is, but not everyone understands "bacchanal".
    That's the big one - "orgy" is more common and "bacchanal" very rare. Nowadays, an "orgy" is understood as necessarily sexual.

    (In older books - say, from the 1930's and before - you may see "orgy" used to describe "a wild party" without any sexual implications.)
     
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