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hierophant

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noun hi·ero·phant \ˈhī-(ə-)rə-ˌfant, hī-ˈer-ə-fənt\

Definition of hierophant

  1. 1 :  a priest in ancient Greece; specifically :  the chief priest of the Eleusinian mysteries

  2. 2 a :  expositor b :  advocate 2

hierophantic play \ˌhī-(ə-)rə-ˈfan-tik, (ˌ)hī-ˌer-ə-\ adjective


Examples of hierophant in a sentence

  1. <as an early hierophant of birth control, Margaret Sanger had to face down often vehement opposition>



Did You Know?

Hierophant, hieroglyphics, and hierarch" have a common root: _hieros, a Greek word meaning "sacred." Hieroglyphics joins hieros with a derivative of glyphein, the Greek verb for "carve." Hierarch, a word that can refer to a religious leader in a position of authority, joins hieros with a derivative of archein, meaning "to rule." Hierophant itself joins the root with a derivative of phainein, which means "to show." The original hierophants were priests of the ancient Greek city of Eleusis who performed sacred rites. In the 17th century, when the word was first documented in English, it referred to these priests. By the 19th century, English speakers were using the term in a broader sense. A hierophant can now be a spokesperson, a commentator, an interpreter, or a leading advocate.

Origin of hierophant

Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs, from hieros + phainein to show — more at fancy


First Known Use: 1677


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