Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
January 05, 2009
adjective, often capitalized
: of or relating to Elysium
: blissful, delightful
"The summer, in some climates, makes possible to man a sort of Elysian life." (Henry David Thoreau, Walden)
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
In classical mythology Elysium, also known as the Elysian Fields, was the paradise reserved for the heroes immortalized by the gods. Ancient Greek poets imagined it as the abode of the blessed after death. The first known use of the place-name as a word for a blissful state enjoyed by mere mortals is found in Shakespeare's Henry V. Following the Bard, many other writers over the centuries have used "Elysium," as well as "Elysian Fields," to refer to paradisiacal places or states. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was the first to summon "Elysian" as an adjective for the blissful quality emanating from such places.
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears