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"The sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils." --James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  1. A revel involving indiscriminate group sexual activity, see group sex.
  2. Excessive indulgence in a specified activity.

Related e



An orgy (όργια) was a secret cultic congregation at nighttime in Ancient Greek religion, overseen by an orgiophant.


Greek όργια is cognate with έργον "work, effect, [religious] service" (ultimately cognate to English work itself). The term was loaned into English in the 16th century, via the Latinized orgia.

Since the 17th century, due to its connection with Dionysus and the Bacchanalia, the English term orgy could refer "any licentious revelry", in particular group sex or promiscuity, but the term can also denote other acts which may not include sex. For example an "alcoholic orgy" is an event where people show no restraint in alcohol consumption. This is better known as binge drinking.

The Greek orgia

An orgia was a secret rite of the Greek Mystery religions, practiced in the worship of Demeter at Eleusis (mentioned in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter) or in worship of Dionysus (Herodotus 2.81), the Cabeiri, Demeter Achaia (Herodotus 2.51, 5.61), Orpheus, Eumolpus, or Cybele.

The term could also refer to rites or sacrifices in general, the verb ὀργιάζω denoting ritual celebration.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Orgy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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