Apollonian

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adjective Ap·ol·lo·ni·an \ˌa-pə-ˈlō-nē-ən\

Definition of Apollonian

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or resembling the god Apollo

  2. 2 :  harmonious, measured, ordered, or balanced in character — compare dionysian

Apollonian was our Word of the Day on 01/10/2013. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

To the ancient Greeks, Apollo represented the perfection of youthful manhood. He was the god of music, poetry, archery, prophecy, and healing, among other things. English speakers began using the adjective Apollonian for someone who resembled Apollo in physical beauty or talent as long ago as 1663. Due partly to the work of Nietzsche and other German scholars, we now associate Apollo with the forces of calm rationality (as opposed to the Dionysian forces, which are instinctive, frenzied, and uninhibited). Despite these associations, Apollo himself was not always a force of reason-he had a terrible temper and a lust for young girls as well.

1663

First Known Use of apollonian

1663

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms


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