an·​ag·​no·​ri·​sis | \ ˌa-ˌnag-ˈnȯr-ə-səs How to pronounce anagnorisis (audio) \
plural anagnorises\ ˌa-​ˌnag-​ˈnȯr-​ə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce anagnorisis (audio) \

Definition of anagnorisis

: the point in the plot especially of a tragedy at which the protagonist recognizes his or her or some other character's true identity or discovers the true nature of his or her own situation

Examples of anagnorisis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In this case, the act of anagnorisis is one of self-recognition. Robyn Creswell, The New York Review of Books, 17 June 2020 One of the greatest expositions of (the idea of) anagnorisis — the moment of recognition in Aristotelian tragedy — is when Siegmund and Sieglinde discover each other’s identities as brother and sister. John Von Rhein,, 31 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anagnorisis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of anagnorisis

1790, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for anagnorisis

Greek anagnōrisis, from anagnōrizein to recognize, from ana- + gnōrizein to make known; akin to Greek gnōrimos well-known, gignōskein to come to know — more at know

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About anagnorisis

Time Traveler for anagnorisis

Time Traveler

The first known use of anagnorisis was in 1790

See more words from the same year

Statistics for anagnorisis

Cite this Entry

“Anagnorisis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on anagnorisis Encyclopedia article about anagnorisis


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!