late 14c. (c. 1200 as a surname), "riotous merry-making," also an occasion of this, from Old French revel, resvel "entertainment, revelry," verbal noun from reveler, also rebeller (14c.) "be disorderly, make merry" (see rebel (adj.)). "The development of sense in OF. is 'rebellion, tumult, disturbance, noisy mirth'" [OED].
Formerly especially a kind of dance or performance given in connection with masks or pageants, a dancing procession (usually revels). Related: revel-rout "riotous throng."
early 14c., revelen, "to feast in a noisy manner, make merry;" late 14c., "take part in revels," from Old French reveler, also rebeller "be disorderly, make merry; rebel, be riotous," from Latin rebellare "to rebel" (see rebel (v.)). The meaning "take great pleasure in" is recorded by 1754. Related: Reveled; reveling; revelled; revelling.