ithyphallic [ith-uh-fal-ik] ExamplesWord Origin adjective

  1. of or relating to the phallus carried in ancient festivals of Bacchus.
  2. grossly indecent; obscene.
  3. Classical Prosody. noting or pertaining to any of several meters employed in hymns sung in Bacchic processions.


  1. a poem in ithyphallic meter.
  2. an indecent poem.

Origin of ithyphallic 1605–15; Late Latin īthyphallicus Greek īthyphallikós, equivalent to īthý(s) straight, erect + phall(ós) phallus + -ikos -ic Examples from the Web for ithyphallic Historical Examples of ithyphallic

  • No ithyphallic 165images or figures of gods have been found.

    Introduction to the History of Religions

    Crawford Howell Toy

  • The ithyphallic, which was marked by a succession of three trochees at the end of the line, was the most distinguished.

    Studies of the Greek Poets (Vol I of 2)

    John Addington Symonds

  • Ithyphallic, ith-i-fal′ik, adj. pertaining to certain rites: obscene.

    Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 2 of 4: E-M)


  • Represented as ithyphallic, with two tall plumes on his head, the right arm upraised and bearing a scourge.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 1


  • British Dictionary definitions for ithyphallic ithyphallic adjective

    1. prosody (in classical verse) of or relating to the usual metre in hymns to Bacchus
    2. of or relating to the phallus carried in the ancient festivals of Bacchus
    3. (of sculpture and graphic art) having or showing an erect penis


    1. prosody a poem in ithyphallic metre

    Word Origin for ithyphallic C17: from Late Latin, from Greek ithuphallikos, from ithuphallos erect phallus, from ithus straight + phallos phallus Word Origin and History for ithyphallic

    1610s, “poem in ithyphallic meter,” from Greek ithyphallos “phallos carried in the festivals,” from ithys “straight” + phallos “erect penis” (see phallus). As an adjective from 1795. The meter was that of the Bacchic hymns, which were sung in the rites during which such phalloses were carried. Thus, in Victorian times, the word also meant “grossly indecent” (1864).

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