en·​tel·​e·​chy en-ˈte-lə-kē How to pronounce entelechy (audio)
plural entelechies
: the actualization of form-giving cause as contrasted with potential existence
: a hypothetical agency not demonstrable by scientific methods that in some vitalist doctrines is considered an inherent regulating and directing force in the development and functioning of an organism

Word History


Late Latin entelechia, from Greek entelecheia, from entelēs complete (from en- en- entry 2 + telos end) + echein to have — more at telos, scheme entry 1

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of entelechy was in 1593

Dictionary Entries Near entelechy

Cite this Entry

“Entelechy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entelechy. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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