Word of the Day : July 25, 2021

hagiography

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noun hag-ee-AH-gruh-fee

Definition

1 : biography of saints or venerated persons

2 : idealizing or idolizing biography

Did You Know?

Like biography and autograph, the word hagiography has to do with the written word. The combining form -graphy comes from Greek graphein, meaning "to write." Hagio- comes from a Greek word that means "saintly" or "holy." This origin is seen in Hagiographa, the Greek designation of the Ketuvim, the third part of the Jewish Scriptures. English's hagiography, though it can refer to biography of actual saints, is these days more often applied to biography that treats ordinary human subjects as if they were saints.


Examples

"Music documentaries can veer into hagiography. That's not this story. It goes up and down, with constant left turns and surprises you don't expect." — Edgar Wright, quoted in The Houston Chronicle, 16 June 2021

"Hemingway, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's latest PBS series, is a hagiography of one of the most popular writers of the 20th century, the tale of a man whose writing, image, and life were regularly the stuff of gossip, jealousy, admiration, and legend" — Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic, 15 Apr. 2021



Word Family Quiz

What relative of hagiography refers to the way in which the words of a language are spelled?

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