apotheosis

play
noun apo·the·o·sis \ ə-ˌpä-thē-ˈō-səs , ˌa-pə-ˈthē-ə-səs \

Definition of apotheosis

plural apotheoses play \-ˌsēz\
1 a :the perfect form or example of something :quintessence
  • the apotheosis of Hollywood glamour
  • … Nelson Rockefeller, the other top contender and the apotheosis of liberal Republicanism.
  • —Sam Tanenhaus
b :the highest or best part of something :peak
  • The city reaches its apotheosis at the holiday …
  • —David Leavin
2 :elevation to divine status :deification
  • the apotheosis of Roman emperors

apotheosize

play \ˌa-pə-ˈthē-ə-ˌsīz, ə-ˈpä-thē-ə-\ transitive verb

apotheosis was our Word of the Day on 06/03/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of apotheosis in a Sentence

  1. the apotheosis of the picaresque novel

Recent Examples of apotheosis from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Among the ancient Greeks, it was sometimes thought fitting - or simply handy, say if you wanted a god somewhere in your bloodline - to grant someone or other god status. So they created the word apotheosis, meaning "making into a god." (The prefix apo- can mean simply "quite" or "completely," and "theos" is the Greek word for "god.") There's not a lot of Greek-style apotheosizing in the 21st century, but there is hero-worship. Our extended use of "apotheosis" as "elevation to divine status" is the equivalent of "placement on a very high pedestal." Even more common these days is to use "apotheosis" in reference to a perfect example or ultimate form. For example, one might describe a movie as "the apotheosis of the sci-fi movie genre."

Origin and Etymology of apotheosis

Late Latin, from Greek apotheōsis, from apotheoun to deify, from apo- + theos god

Other Christian Religious Terms


APOTHEOSIS Defined for English Language Learners

apotheosis

play
noun

Definition of apotheosis for English Language Learners

  • : the perfect form or example of something

  • : the highest or best part of something



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up apotheosis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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