Definition of procrustean
1 : of, relating to, or typical of Procrustes
2 : marked by arbitrary often ruthless disregard of individual differences or special circumstances
procrustean was our Word of the Day on 06/24/2008. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Procrustes was one of many villains defeated by the Greek hero Theseus. According to Greek mythology, Procrustes was a robber who killed his victims in a most cruel and unusual way. He made them lie on an iron bed and would force them to fit the bed by cutting off the parts that hung off the ends or by stretching those people who were too short. Something Procrustean, therefore, takes no account of individual differences but cruelly and mercilessly makes everything the same. And a "procrustean bed" is a scheme or pattern into which someone or something is arbitrarily forced.
First Known Use of procrustean
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