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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1783, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anagnorisis was in 1783

Dictionary Entries Near anagnorisis

Cite this Entry

“Anagnorisis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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