Word of the Day

thanatology

audio pronunciation
March 03, 2015
noun
\than-uh-TAH-luh-jee\
Definition
: the description or study of the phenomena of death and of psychological mechanisms for coping with them
Examples
One of the seminal texts on thanatology is Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's On Death and Dying, which outlines the five stages of grief.

"In her eight-week yoga for grief course, Stang … uses her background in thanatology—the scientific study of death, dying and bereavement—to educate participants about death and normalize their experiences." — Anna Medaris Miller, U.S. News & World Report, January 7, 2015
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Did You Know?
In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the personification of death and the twin brother of Hypnos (Sleep). The ancient Greeks eventually came to use thanatos as a generic word for "death." Thanatology is a direct linguistic heir of the Greek term and was first documented in English in the mid-1800s. As a science, thanatology examines attitudes toward death, the meaning and behaviors of bereavement and grief, and other matters. In 1935, the word thanatos itself made its debut in English, ushered in with psychoanalytic theory to describe an unconscious tendency toward self-destruction.

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day beginning with "t" is derived from a blustering character in an ancient Roman play and means "bragging" or "boastful"? The answer is …
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