Word of the Day : June 13, 2018

mantic

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adjective MAN-tik

Definition

: of or relating to the faculty of divination : prophetic

Did You Know?

The adjective mantic comes from the Greek word mantikos, which itself derives from mantis, meaning "prophet." The mantis insect got its name from this same source, supposedly because its posture—with the forelimbs extended as though in prayer—reminded folks of a prophet. Not surprisingly, the combining form -mancy, which means "divination in a (specified) manner" (as in necromancy and pyromancy), is a relative of mantic. A less expected, and more distant, relative is mania, meaning "excitement manifested by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganized behavior, and elevated mood" or "excessive or unreasonable enthusiasm." Mania descends from Greek mainesthai ("to be mad"), a word akin to mantis and its offspring. And indeed, prophesying in ancient Greece was sometimes believed to be "inspired madness."


Examples

The magician mesmerized the crowd with her sleight-of-hand tricks as well as her mantic predictions.

"Like everyone else, I was in awe of her mantic abilities, and I think she looked upon my storytelling endeavors with indulgence, having known both my father and my grandfather in their prime." — Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, The Storyteller of Marrakesh, 2011



Word Family Quiz

What is the meaning of oneiromancy, a relative of mantic?

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