syncretic

adjective
syn·cret·ic | \ sin-ˈkre-tik , siŋ- \

Definition of syncretic 

: characterized or brought about by syncretism : syncretistic a syncretic religion

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Syncretic has its roots in an ancient alliance. It's a descendant of the Greek word synkrētismos, meaning "federation of Cretan cities-syn- means "together," with, and Krēt- means "Cretan." The adjective first appeared in English in the mid-19th century, and the related noun "syncretism" debuted over 200 years earlier. "Syncretic" retains the idea of coalition and appears in such contexts as "syncretic religions," "syncretic societies," and even "syncretic music," all describing things influenced by two or more styles or traditions. The word also has a specific application in linguistics, where it refers to a fusion of grammatical forms.

Examples of syncretic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But the new syncretic fusion of Judaism and Christianity makes no sense. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "David Brooks needs a name for his new religion.," 13 June 2018 The artist from Austin, Texas, has her first exhibition in L.A. at the Luis De Jesus gallery, and the collage and text works explore preteen awkwardness and the syncretic nature of black female identity. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "Deborah Roberts' powerful statement of black female identity," 29 May 2018 Despite the protestations of those who felt that the party exploited the spiritual seriousness of Catholic art, the Met’s carpeted steps played host to a syncretic display of contemporary religious visuality. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Getting Into the Holy Spirit," 8 May 2018 The exhibition ends with a remarkable example of the syncretic character of the classical world: a bust of a Greek version of an Egyptian god (Serapis), made for the far reaches of the Roman empire. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World’ Review: A Cross-Cultural Journey Begins," 31 Mar. 2018 Voodoo refers to syncretic religious practices developed by Caribbean slaves who took spiritual traditions from their native Africa and merged them with elements of Christianity and other faiths. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, ""We don't hurt children": Vodou practitioners fear backlash after recent crimes," 12 Feb. 2018 With her in mind, Ms. Shyu set about culling folkloric tales from traditions across East and Southeast Asia, and created her own syncretic saga for the present day. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "January in Live Jazz: 5 Standout Shows," 31 Jan. 2018 Troy Andrews, known as Trombone Shorty, is an ambassador for New Orleans music who’s ready to handle the syncretic impulse that guides both pop musicians and world-class improvisers today. New York Times, "Pop, Rock and Jazz in NYC This Week," 12 Oct. 2017 This is difficult in India’s notoriously diverse amalgam, and so the ideologues of Hindutva have appealed to a primordial Vedic past, prior to the arrival of the Mughals, in a bid to negate the Hindu faith’s plurality and syncretic history. Amar Diwakar, New Republic, "India’s Murderous Turn From Democracy," 19 Sep. 2017

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

1840, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of syncretic was in 1840

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