De·​mo·​gor·​gon | \ ˌdē-mə-ˈgȯr-gən How to pronounce Demogorgon (audio) , ˈdē-mə-ˌgȯr- \

Definition of Demogorgon

: a mysterious spirit or deity often explained as a primeval creator god who antedates the gods of Greek mythology

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Genealogia deorum gentilium is a laudable 14th-century genealogy of ancient mythological deities complied by Giovanni Boccaccio. In it Boccaccio writes about Demogorgon, a primordial heathen god shrouded in mystery. Thereafter, Demogorgon began to be conjured in Renaissance writings to invoke terror and dread. In Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, he is "Downe in the bottome of the deepe Abysse … Farre from the view of the Gods and heauens blis." In Paradise Lost, John Milton speaks of "the dreaded name Of Demogorgon." And Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus calls on Demogorgon in a summons for Mephistopheles. After the Renaissance, Demogorgon began to make fewer appearances in the English language, but he has by no means been forgotten. These days his name is sometimes used in a more generic way of something that is bizarre or monstrous.

First Known Use of Demogorgon

1590, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Demogorgon

borrowed from Medieval Latin, probably based on Latin manuscript variants of Greek dēmiourgón, accusative of dēmiourgós demiurge in scholia (ca. 350-400) on 4.516 of the Thebaid of statius

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The first known use of Demogorgon was in 1590

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Cite this Entry

“Demogorgon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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