hierophant was our Word of the Day on 05/18/2008. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of hierophant in a Sentence
as an early hierophant of birth control, Margaret Sanger had to face down often vehement opposition
Did You Know?
Hierophant, hieroglyphics, and hierarch" have a common root: _hieros, a Greek word meaning "sacred." Hieroglyphics joins hieros with a derivative of glyphein, the Greek verb for "carve." Hierarch, a word that can refer to a religious leader in a position of authority, joins hieros with a derivative of archein, meaning "to rule." Hierophant itself joins the root with a derivative of phainein, which means "to show." The original hierophants were priests of the ancient Greek city of Eleusis who performed sacred rites. In the 17th century, when the word was first documented in English, it referred to these priests. By the 19th century, English speakers were using the term in a broader sense. A hierophant can now be a spokesperson, a commentator, an interpreter, or a leading advocate.
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