Olympian

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Late Middle English Olympyan, from Latin Olympius (of or relating to Mount Olympus) and its etymon Ancient Greek Ὀλῠ́μπῐος (Olúmpios, of or relating to Mount Olympus; living on Mount Olympus; Olympian) + English -an (suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘of or pertaining to’, or forming agent nouns). Ὀλῠ́μπῐος (Olúmpios) is derived from Ὄλῠμπος (Ólumpos, Mount Olympus) (from Pre-Greek) + -ῐος (-ios, suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘of or pertaining to’).[1]

AdjectiveEdit

Olympian (not generally comparable, comparative more Olympian, superlative most Olympian)

  1. (not comparable) Of or relating to Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece; or (Greek mythology) the Greek gods and goddesses who were believed to live there.
    Synonym: Olympic
  2. (comparable, by extension) Resembling a Greek deity in some way.
    1. Celestial, heavenly; also, godlike.
    2. Acting in a remote and superior manner; aloof.
      • 2011, Thomas Penn, “Richmond”, in Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, published March 2012, →ISBN, part 1 (Blood and Roses), page 51:
        The Olympian distance he so carefully cultivated was shot through with genuine exhaustion. Workaholic and overburdened with affairs of state, he had evidently written the letter in snached moments between other matters.
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NounEdit

Olympian (plural Olympians)

  1. (Greek mythology) Any of the 12 principal gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, and Hades); (specifically) preceded by the: Zeus, the supreme ruler of the Greek deities.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “Morrison’s Pill”, in Past and Present, New York, N.Y.: William H. Colyer, [], published May 1843, OCLC 10193956, book I (Proem), page 15:
      Midas longed for gold, and insulted the Olympians. He got gold, so that whatsoever he touched became gold—and he, with his long ears, was little the better for it.
  2. (figuratively) A person with superior talents or towering achievements.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Late Latin Olympianus (Olympic) + English -an (suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘of or pertaining to’, or forming agent nouns). Olympianus is derived from Latin Olympia (town in Elis, Greece, where the ancient Olympic Games were held) + -ānus (suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’); and Olympia is from Ancient Greek Ὀλυμπῐ́ᾱ (Olumpíā, Olympia), from Ὀλῠ́μπῐος (Olúmpios, of or pertaining to Mount Olympus; living on Mount Olympus, Olympian; (specifically) Zeus) or Ὄλῠμπος (Ólumpos, Mount Olympus) (see further at etymology 1) + -ῐ́ᾱ (-íā, suffix forming feminine abstract nouns).[2]

As regards noun sense 1 (“inhabitant of the city of Olympia, Washington, United States”), the city was named after the Olympic Mountains which are visible to the northwest, which in turn were named after Mount Olympus in Greece.

AdjectiveEdit

Olympian (not comparable)

  1. (historical) Of or relating to the town of Olympia in Elis, Greece; Olympic.
  2. (sports)
    1. (historical) Of or relating to the ancient Olympic Games held at Olympia; Olympic.
    2. Of or relating to the modern Olympic Games; Olympic.
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

Olympian (plural Olympians)

  1. An inhabitant of the city of Olympia, the capital of Washington, United States.
  2. (sports)
    1. (historical) A sportsperson competing in the ancient Olympic Games.
    2. A sportsperson competing in the modern Olympic Games.
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ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Compare “Olympian, adj.1 and n.2”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “Olympian, adj. and n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ Olympian, adj.2 and n.1”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “Olympian, adj. and n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

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