en·​ne·​ad | \ ˈe-nē-ˌad How to pronounce ennead (audio) \

Definition of ennead

: a group of nine

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Since ancient times, various groups of people have considered nine to be a very special and sacred number. Legends and literature have long characterized groups of nine as having a special, in some cases magical, significance. Ancient Egyptians organized their gods into groups of nine; even today, their principal group of gods (headed by sun god Re-Atum) is called the "Great Ennead of Heliopolis." The Ennead English speakers use in that name traces to ennea, the Greek word for "nine." Ennead is also used generally to refer to other groups of ancient gods. Furthermore, it is the name given to six sets of nine treatises by Greek philosopher Plotinus that were collected and organized by his 3rd-century disciple, Porphyry.

Examples of ennead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pickett, despite witnessing the horror, feels as if Luke really ties the whole ennead together: Johnson nods to episode five, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), in which the wizened Yoda (Frank Oz) agrees to train Luke. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, 4 May 2018

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

First Known Use of ennead

1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ennead

Greek ennead-, enneas, from ennea nine — more at nine

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Cite this Entry

“Ennead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ennead. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ennead

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ennead


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