mantic

adjective

man·​tic ˈman-tik How to pronounce mantic (audio)
: of or relating to the faculty of divination : prophetic

Did you know?

The adjective mantic comes from the Greek word mantikos, which itself derives from mantis, meaning "prophet." The mantis insect got its name from this same source, supposedly because its posture—with the forelimbs extended as though in prayer—reminded folks of a prophet. Not surprisingly, the combining form -mancy, which means "divination in a (specified) manner" (as in necromancy and pyromancy), is a relative of mantic. A less expected, and more distant, relative is mania, meaning "excitement manifested by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganized behavior, and elevated mood" or "excessive or unreasonable enthusiasm." Mania descends from Greek mainesthai ("to be mad"), a word akin to mantis and its offspring. And indeed, prophesying in ancient Greece was sometimes believed to be "inspired madness."

Word History

Etymology

Greek mantikos, from mantis

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mantic was in 1839

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Dictionary Entries Near mantic

Cite this Entry

“Mantic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mantic. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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