Promethean

adjective

Pro·​me·​the·​an prə-ˈmē-thē-ən How to pronounce Promethean (audio)
: of, relating to, or resembling Prometheus, his experiences, or his art
especially : daringly original or creative

Did you know?

As some versions of the story go in Greek mythology, Prometheus (one of the Titan giants) modeled humans from clay and then taught them agriculture and all the arts of civilization. He also stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans. So inventive was he that anything that bears the stamp of creativity and originality can still be called Promethean. Zeus, however, had wanted the human race to perish, so Prometheus' actions were also disobedient. Hence Promethean can also mean defiant of authority or limits. As punishment for his disobedience, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock where an eagle daily tore at his liver. Thus, any suffering on a grand scale can also be called Promethean - though this sense is not as common as the others.

Example Sentences

it is only through the efforts of a Promethean pioneer that an art form advances

Word History

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Promethean was in 1594

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Dictionary Entries Near Promethean

Cite this Entry

“Promethean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Promethean. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

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