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

Other Words from platonic

platonically \ plə-​ˈtä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce platonic (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 something (such as feelings or a relationship) that is 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.
Recent Examples on the Web The platonic ideal of a hori hori knife, complete with a sheath that boldly states the purpose of this tool. Hugh Garvey, Sunset Magazine, 13 May 2022 Oliver plays Frances, a Trinity College student of immense intelligence but little self- regard, whose ex-girlfriend, Bobbi (Sasha Lane), is now her platonic performance partner and best friend. ELLE, 19 Apr. 2022 Scenes that could be interpreted as romantic are frequently revealed to be merely friendly or platonic in nature. Emma Sarappo, The Atlantic, 9 Apr. 2022 Ealy’s character’s pursuit of Vivian isn’t purely professional or even platonic. Ineye Komonibo,, 14 Mar. 2022 Kalopsis and Young have an entertaining platonic chemistry (this is a curiously sexless high school), and there are appealing supporting turns from Salenger, Keith and Kate Flannery as the sour school cafeteria lunch lady. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Mar. 2022 The couple definitely live in the moment, with their whirlwind romance being completely unexpected for the once platonic close friends. Ana Escalante, Glamour, 7 Apr. 2022 Kusama described her relationship with Cornell as deeply romantic but platonic. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 According to the psychoanalytical theory, these childhood experiences can play a part in shaping our future romantic (and platonic) relationships. Allure, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of platonic was in 1533

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Platonic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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