Saturday, 21 April 2012

Entry: apotropaic (adj.)


In context: "'I suddenly understand the gesundheit-impulse, the salt over the shoulder and apotropaic barn-signs."


Definition:   Having or reputed to have the power of averting evil influence or ill luck.

Other:Neat word!


Etymology:  < Greek ἀποτρόπαιος averting evil ( < ἀποτρέπειν to turn away, avert) + -ic suffix


1904   W. M. Ramsay in Hastings Dict. Bible V. 115/1   The‥employment of a bull's head on‥sarcophagi‥evidently‥had at first an apotropaic purpose.

SNOOT score: 3

Page:243
 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary


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