pla·​ton·​ic | \ plə-ˈtä-nik How to pronounce platonic (audio) , plā-\

Definition of platonic

1 capitalized : of, relating to, or characteristic of Plato or Platonism
2a : relating to or based on platonic love also : experiencing or professing platonic love
b : of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex

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Other Words from platonic

platonically \ plə-​ˈtä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce platonically (audio) , plā-​ \ adverb

Two Meanings of Platonic

The two most common senses of platonic come from the same source, yet are different enough in meaning that it is rather important to distinguish between them. The original sense relates to the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, or to his philosophy. It will always be capitalized. A secondary meaning that also stems from the name of the philosopher describes feelings or a relationship that are characterized by an absence of romance or sex (a platonic relationship in this sense might simply be called a friendship). This sense alludes to Plato’s belief that love between people could be so strong as to transcend physical attachments.

Examples of platonic in a Sentence

Whereas in the more northerly clime of England the courtly lover of Malory and the Round Table tended to platonic adoration from afar, the Parisian woman already expected—and received—more earthly devotion. — Alistair Horne, Seven Ages of Paris, 2002 Relax. The Three Phils are strictly platonic. Yet three-pal business relationships are just as vulnerable to messy implosions as their romantic counterparts. — Anne Marie Cruz, ESPN, 7 Feb. 2000 … before concluding that your PC is for work and not pleasure, try hooking up a couple of first-rate speakers and then planting yourself in the platonic ideal of the chair. Fortune, Summer 1998 They had a platonic friendship, not a romantic one. Our relationship was strictly platonic.
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Recent Examples on the Web

She and Pat are still partners today, though their relationship is more familial and platonic. Halley Bondy, NBC News, ""I just had to suppress everything": What it's like to be transgender in a male-dominated field," 21 June 2019 Sivan’s female fans see him as a platonic crush object, or as an idealized gay bestie passing them notes in drama class. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Troye Sivan’s Coming of Age," 17 June 2019 But the truth is that B.J. is so much more like family now than a platonic friend. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "A Complete Timeline of Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak's Relationship History," 8 May 2019 But the truth is that B.J. is so much more like family now than a platonic friend. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "Mindy Kaling Reveals She's So Close With B.J. Novak, He's Her Daughter's Godfather," 3 May 2019 This is the first time Fox has said anything definitive about her and LaBeouf's (clearly not platonic) relationship. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Megan Fox Admits She Dated Shia LaBeouf During Their 'Transformers' Days," 30 Nov. 2018 This is really our platonic ideal for a crossover: the material quality, features, and behind-the-wheel gratification of a luxury ride, in an affordable car that’s not begging for badge-snob attention. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards," 16 Apr. 2019 Seeing platonic relationships that actually work has inspired me to look for more male friends. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "#ReadWithMC Reviews Christina Lauren's 'My Favorite Half-Night Stand'," 1 Feb. 2019 Ok, these photos are adorable, and definitely NOT platonic! Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About Ashley Benson and Cara Delevingne's Relationship So Far," 14 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'platonic.' 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 platonic

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for platonic

Latin platonicus, from Greek platōnikos, from Platōn Plato

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Statistics for platonic

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for platonic

The first known use of platonic was in 1533

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More Definitions for platonic



English Language Learners Definition of platonic

: of, relating to, or having a close relationship in which there is no romance or sex

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More from Merriam-Webster on platonic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with platonic

Spanish Central: Translation of platonic

Nglish: Translation of platonic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of platonic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on platonic

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characterized by aphorism

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