om·pha·los | \ˈäm(p)-fə-ˌläs, -ləs\

Definition of omphalos 

: a central point : hub, focal point

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Did You Know?

Omphalos originated as an ancient Greek word meaning "navel" and is distantly related to two other words of the same meaning, Latin umbilicus and Old English "nafela." (The latter of these is the source of our word navel.) The ancient Greeks also used "omphalos" to refer to a sacred, rounded stone in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi that was supposed to mark the center of the earth. In the 19th century, English speakers borrowed "omphalos" for this sense and its more general "center of activity" sense, as well as to refer to raised ornamentation on a shield or in the base of a cup or dish. In the 1920s, "omphalos" made another contribution to English via the word omphaloskepsis, which means "contemplation of one's navel."

Examples of omphalos in a Sentence

during the Vietnam War the university's campus effectively became the area's omphalos for antiwar activity

First Known Use of omphalos

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for omphalos

Greek, navel — more at navel

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The first known use of omphalos was in 1845

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More Definitions for omphalos


om·pha·los | \ˈäm(p)-fə-ˌläs, -ləs \
plural omphali\-ˌlī, -ˌlē \

Medical Definition of omphalos 

: navel

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Comments on omphalos

What made you want to look up omphalos? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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