Definition of hermetic
- a hermetic discussion
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
wrote hermetic poetry whose sole intended readership was himself
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hermetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Hermetic derives from Greek via the Medieval Latin word hermeticus. When it first entered English in the early 17th century, hermetic was associated with writings attributed to Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom. Thoth, whom the Greeks called Hermes Trismegistus ("thrice-great Hermes"), was believed to be the author of a number of mystical, philosophical, and alchemistic works. The obscure subject matter of these works may have made them difficult to wade through, for soon English speakers were also applying hermetic to things that were beyond ordinary human comprehension. Additionally, Hermes Trismegistus was said to have invented a magic seal that could keep vessels airtight. Hermetic thus came to mean "airtight," both literally and figuratively. These days, it can also sometimes mean "solitary."
First Known Use: 1605See Words from the same year
: closed tightly so that no air can go in or out
What made you want to look up hermetic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to speak or write verbosely and windily
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz