Pyg·​ma·​lion pig-ˈmāl-yən How to pronounce Pygmalion (audio)
: a king of Cyprus who makes a female figure of ivory that is brought to life for him by Aphrodite

Examples of Pygmalion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Love is one in Pygmalion when the cuties Rachel Leigh Cook and Freddie Prince Jr. stop being polite and start getting real. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 12 May 2023 Like Pygmalion, Pelletier carved her second great love into being. Maria Aspan, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2023 Note the Pygmalion effect, by which others’ expectations of a person affect that person’s performance, in a self-fulfilling prophecy for success—or failure. Katherine Manuel, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 A lot of things would have turned out different if Capote had spent 1967 writing Answered Prayers instead of playing Pygmalion. Mark Peikert, Town & Country, 28 Jan. 2022 Playwright George Bernard Shaw, who won a Best Screenplay Oscar for the adaptation of his play Pygmalion in 1938, was awarded his Nobel Prize in 1925, long before the movie. Jeva Lange, The Week, 7 Oct. 2021 By the way, both movies are actually remakes, because the story is based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Lia Beck,, 28 Aug. 2021 Rex, Zulu, Bacchus, Hermes, Thoth, King Arthur, Argus, Alla, Morpheus, Iris, Pygmalion, Mid-City, Tucks, Femme Fatale, Babylon, Druids and Carrollton are already in the lineup. Doug MacCash | Staff Writer,, 22 Jan. 2021 Meanwhile, over the past five decades, scores of scientists inspired by Rosenthal have tracked Pygmalion effects outside of educational settings. Katherine Ellison, Discover Magazine, 28 Oct. 2015 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Pygmalion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, from Greek Pygmaliōn

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Pygmalion was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near Pygmalion

Cite this Entry

“Pygmalion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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