Del·​phic | \ ˈdel-fik How to pronounce Delphic (audio) \

Definition of Delphic

1 : of or relating to ancient Delphi or its oracle
2 often not capitalized : ambiguous, obscure Delphic utterances

Other Words from Delphic

delphically \ ˈdel-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce Delphic (audio) \ adverb

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Delphi in Greece was the site of a temple to Apollo at which there resided an oracle, a woman through whom Apollo would speak, foretelling the future. The Greeks consulted the oracle frequently on matters both private and public. The prophecies were given in difficult poetry that had to be interpreted by priests, and even the interpretations could be hard to understand. When Croesus, king of Lydia, asked what would happen if he attacked the Persians, the oracle announced that he would destroy a great empire; what she didn't say was that the empire destroyed would be his own. Modern-day descendants of the oracle include some political commentators, who utter words of delphic complexity every week.

Examples of Delphic in a Sentence

the Delphic pronouncements that are so typical of many stock market prognosticators

First Known Use of Delphic

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of Delphic was in 1567

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Cite this Entry

“Delphic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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