onei·​ric | \ ō-ˈnī-rik How to pronounce oneiric (audio) \

Definition of oneiric

: of, relating to, or suggestive of dreams : dreamy The frieze is the most arresting feature of the exterior, not only for its colors and the oneiric forms of the irises but for the way it encompasses the structure of the house.— William Craft Brumfield

Other Words from oneiric

oneirically \ ō-​ˈnī-​ri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce oneiric (audio) \ adverb

Did you know?

The notion of using the Greek noun oneiros (meaning "dream") to form the English adjective oneiric wasn't dreamed up until the mid-19th century. But back in the late 1500s and early 1600s, linguistic dreamers came up with a few oneiros spin-offs, giving English oneirocriticism, oneirocritical, and oneirocritic (each referring to dream interpreters or interpretation). The surge in oneiros derivatives at that time may have been fueled by the interest then among English-speaking scholars in Oneirocritica, a book about dream interpretation by 2nd-century Greek soothsayer Artemidorus Daldianus. In the 17th century, English speakers also melded Greek oneiros with the combining form ­-mancy ("divination") to create oneiromancy, meaning "divination by means of dreams."

Examples of oneiric in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fans of Haruki Murakami’s melancholy, oneiric tales will also delight in Lim’s assault upon consensus reality. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 For most this association persisted because the medium was thought to be psychedelic or oneiric, fundamentally unearthly. Will Stephenson, Harper's Magazine, 15 Sep. 2020 Is Blue With a Single Cloud, showing Tsurita at her most atmospherically oneiric and representationally unafraid. Gabrielle Bellot, The Atlantic, 5 Aug. 2020 Somewhere along the twisty path of the twentieth century, Vladimir Nabokov, our brilliant dreamer-in-chief, came into contact with Dunne’s theories of oneiric prophecy and was evidently inspired by them. Nicholson Baker, New Republic, 21 Feb. 2018 Through perspectival shifts, pronominal slippage and shout-outs to cinema, poetry and of course music, Mercier allows the duo’s fears and displaced ambitions to turn into one another in revelatory, oneiric and, ultimately, disturbing ways. Lisa Russ Spaar, New York Times, 5 Jan. 2018 Chairs, beds, and bell jars seem to float just in front of the frames, the ghostly 3-D effect rendering her oneiric assemblages more nightmarish than usual. The New Yorker, 31 Mar. 2017 Elsewhere, there is a naïve, almost oneiric undertow. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, 24 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oneiric.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oneiric

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oneiric

Greek oneiros dream; akin to Armenian anurǰ dream

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The first known use of oneiric was in 1859

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Last Updated

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oneiric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for oneiric


onei·​ric | \ ō-ˈnī-rik How to pronounce oneiric (audio) \

Medical Definition of oneiric

1 : of or relating to dreams
2 : of, relating to, or characterized by oneirism


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