demi·​urge | \ ˈde-mē-ˌərj How to pronounce demiurge (audio) \

Definition of demiurge

1 capitalized
a : a Platonic subordinate deity who fashions the sensible world in the light of eternal ideas
b : a Gnostic subordinate deity who is the creator of the material world
2 : one that is an autonomous creative force or decisive power

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Other Words from demiurge

demiurgic \ ˈde-​mē-​ˌər-​jik How to pronounce demiurge (audio) \ or less commonly demiurgical \ ˈde-​mē-​ˌər-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce demiurge (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

In the Platonic school of philosophy, the Demiurge is a deity who fashions the physical world in the light of eternal ideas. In the Timaeus, Plato credits the Demiurge with taking preexisting materials of chaos and arranging them in accordance with the models of eternal forms. Nowadays the word demiurge can refer to the individual or group chiefly responsible for a creative idea, as in "the demiurge behind the new hit TV show." Demiurge derives via Late Latin from Greek dēmiourgos, meaning "artisan" or "one with special skill." The "demi-" part of the word comes from the Greek noun dēmos, meaning "people;" the second part comes from the word for worker, "ergon."

Examples of demiurge in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the eighties, when Americans needed to see hustlers on the make treated as demiurges, Tom Cruise was like Michael Ovitz was like Michael Milken. Stephen Metcalf, The New Yorker, "How Superheroes Made Movie Stars Expendable," 19 May 2018

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

First Known Use of demiurge

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for demiurge

borrowed from Late Latin dēmiurgus, borrowed from Greek dēmiourgós, literally, "master of a craft, artisan" (Homeric dēmioergós "one skilled in an art or craft that benefits the community"), contraction of *dēmioworgos, from dḗmios "of the people, public" (adjective derivative of dêmos "people") + *-worgos, ablaut derivative of Indo-European *u̯erǵ- "make, bring about" (whence, as a nominal derivative, Greek érgon "work") — more at demo-, work entry 1

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The first known use of demiurge was in 1840

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Cite this Entry

“Demiurge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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