ely·​sian i-ˈli-zhən How to pronounce elysian (audio)
often capitalized
: of or relating to Elysium
: blissful, delightful
elysian peace

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In classical mythology Elysium, also known as the Elysian Fields, was the paradise reserved for the heroes immortalized by the gods. Ancient Greek poets imagined it as the abode of the blessed after death. The first known use of the place-name as a word for a blissful state enjoyed by mere mortals is found in Shakespeare's Henry V. Following the Bard, many other writers over the centuries have used "Elysium," as well as "Elysian Fields," to refer to paradisiacal places or states. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was the first to summon "Elysian" as an adjective for the blissful quality emanating from such places.

Examples of elysian in a Sentence

the dream of retiring to a tropical isle and enjoying a life of elysian ease
Recent Examples on the Web There’s no shortage of elysian Santa Barbara hotels in both the seaside city and its idyllic surrounding areas of Montecito and the Santa Ynez wine country. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 23 June 2022 The secret to its longevity, then and now, is a steadfast commitment to the idea of dolce far niente, the elysian pleasantness of doing absolutely nothing except enjoying yourself. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, 28 Mar. 2021 Indie studio Humble Hearts is hard at work finishing Dust: An Elysian Tale, which stands among the most visually breathtaking 2-D games on any modern platform — despite being developed entirely by one man. Ryan Rigney, WIRED, 15 June 2012 Ms. Belilove herself often exemplifies the genre’s tragic, heroic side: Orpheus entering the Elysian fields, Liberty leading the people. Alastair MacAulay, New York Times, 20 June 2017 The Elysian bash last Thursday night in the Quartyard, 1102 Market St., drew more than 100 people, many dressed in 10 Barrel merchandise. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, 25 May 2017

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

Word History

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of elysian was in 1579


Dictionary Entries Near elysian

Cite this Entry

“Elysian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elysian. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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