Pronounced: KAY-lee, noun
Notes: Notice the pronunciation; not what one would think from the spelling
The word dithyramb is
- a usually short peom in an inspired wild irregular strain
- a statement or writing in an exalted or enthusiastic vein
The word came into English in the late 1500s
Background / Comments
The word has its origins in ancient Greek festivals in honor of the wine god Dionysus (also known as Bacchus). These festivals consisted of processions, feasts, dances, and dramatic performances, accompanied by poems recited or sung in the god’s honor. Perhaps not surprisingly, the poems tended to be wild, irregular, and dissonant. The Greek word to describe a poem in honor of Dionysus was dithyrambos (no other information is available).