• WordNet 3.6
    • n thyrsus a dense flower cluster (as of the lilac or horse chestnut) in which the main axis is racemose and the branches are cymose
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Thyrsus (Bot) A species of inflorescence; a dense panicle, as in the lilac and horse-chestnut.
    • Thyrsus A staff entwined with ivy, and surmounted by a pine cone, or by a bunch of vine or ivy leaves with grapes or berries. It is an attribute of Bacchus, and of the satyrs and others engaging in Bacchic rites. "A good to grow on graves
      As twist about a thyrsus ."
      "In my hand I bear
      The thyrsus , tipped with fragrant cones of pine."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n thyrsus One of the most common attributes or emblems of Dionysus (Bacchus) and his thiasus and vo taries. It was a staff tipped with an ornament like a pine-cone and sometimes wrapped round with ivy and vine-branches, and appears in various modifications in ancient representations. The bacchantes carried thyrsi in their hands when they celebrated their orgies. Also thyrse.
    • n thyrsus Same as thyrse, 2.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Thyrsus thėr′sus (bot.) an inflorescence consisting of a panicle with the lower branches shorter than the middle ones: the wand of Bacchus, a staff wreathed with ivy—also Thyrse
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., fr. Gr. . Cf. Torso
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. thyrsos.


In literature:

In his hand he holds a long thyrsus.
"Yet Again" by Max Beerbohm
Their heads were helmeted with triple brass, and impenetrable to the heaviest blows of the thyrsus of Bacchus.
"The Golden Dog" by William Kirby
High up on the wall of their temple is a representation of the thyrsus and timbrels, which surely suits no other god than Bacchus.
"Essays and Miscellanies" by Plutarch
But now the black ravens crossed Damia's vision once more, till presently a handsome young Greek gaily drove them off with his thyrsus.
"Serapis, Complete" by Georg Ebers
He carried the thyrsus, and he believed in the god.
"Ernest Maltravers, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The ivy-crowned thyrsus, see!
"The Seven Plays in English Verse" by Sophocles
Thou snatch the thyrsus!
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series" by John Addington Symonds
Pan there stretches the pine-thyrsus down to vine-garlanded Dionysos.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece" by John Addington Symonds
Since I shall never tire, neither night nor day, striking the earth with the thyrsus.
"The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I." by Euripides
The lance mentioned here was, no doubt, the thyrsus.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso