Antaean

adjective

An·​tae·​an an-ˈtē-ən How to pronounce Antaean (audio)
1
2
: having superhuman strength

Did you know?

In Greek mythology, Antaeus was the gigantic and powerful son of Gaea the Earth goddess and Poseidon the sea god. Antaeus was a wrestler and whenever he touched his mother (the Earth), his strength was renewed, so he always won his battles even if his opponents threw him to the ground. He proved invincible until he challenged Hercules to wrestle. Hercules discovered the source of the giant's strength, lifted him off the ground, and crushed him to death. In 18th century England, the poet William Mason discovered the power of "Antaean" as a descriptive English adjective, when he used it in his Ode to the Hon. William Pitt: "If foil'd at first, resume thy course / Rise strengthen'd with Antaean force."

Word History

Etymology

Antaeus, a giant overcome by Hercules

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Antaean was in 1782

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Cite this Entry

“Antaean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Antaean. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

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