from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n.pl. The ancient Roman seven-day festival of Saturn, which began on December 17.
- n.pl. A celebration marked by unrestrained revelry and often licentiousness; an orgy.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A period or occasion of general license, in which the passions or vices have riotous indulgence; a period of unrestrained revelry.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. The festival of Saturn, celebrated in December, originally during one day, but afterward during seven days, as a period of unrestrained license and merriment for all classes, extending even to the slaves.
- n.pl. Hence: A period or occasion of general license, in which the passions or vices have riotous indulgence.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In Roman antiquity, the festival of Saturn, celebrated in the middle of December as a harvest-home observance. It was a period of feasting and mirthful license and enjoyment for all classes, extending even to the slaves.
- Hence Any wild or noisy revelry; unconstrained, wild, and licentious reveling.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a wild gathering involving excessive drinking and promiscuity
- n. an orgiastic festival in ancient Rome in honor of Saturn
Latin Sāturnālia, from neuter pl. of Sāturnālis, Saturnian, from Sāturnus, Saturn; see Saturn.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin Sāturnālia, a festival of the winter solstice (Wiktionary)