Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

esemplastic

play
adjective es·em·plas·tic \ˌe-ˌsem-ˈplas-tik, -səm-\

Definition of esemplastic

  1. :  shaping or having the power to shape disparate things into a unified whole <the esemplastic power of the poetic imagination — W. H. Gardner>



Did You Know?

Unusual and new-coined words are, doubtless, an evil; but vagueness, confusion, and imperfect conveyance of our thoughts, are a far greater, wrote English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Biographia Literaria, 1817. True to form, in that same work, he assembled "esemplastic" by melding the Greek phrase es hen, meaning "into one," with "plastic" to fulfill his need for a word that accurately described the imagination's ability to shape disparate experiences into a unified whole (e.g., the poet's imaginative ability to communicate a variety of images, sensations, emotions, and experiences in the unifying framework of a poem). The verb "intensify" was another word that Coleridge was compelled to mint while writing Biographia. Coinages found in his other writings include "clerisy" and "psychosomatic," among others.

Origin of esemplastic

Greek es hen into one + English plastic


First Known Use: 1817


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up esemplastic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!