See also: Ennead



From Ancient Greek ἐννεάς (enneás), ἐννεάδος (enneádos, body of nine) +‎ -ad (suffix designating a unit); analysable as ennea- +‎ -ad. The Greek words ἐννεάς and ἐννεάδος are derived from ἐννέᾰ (ennéa, nine)[1] (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁néwn̥ (nine)) + -ᾰ́ς (-ás, suffix forming abstract nouns of number from numerals) or -ος (-os).



ennead (plural enneads)

  1. (obsolete) The number nine.
    • 1816, Proclus; Thomas Taylor, transl., chapter XXXI, in The Six Books of Proclus the Platonic Successor, on the Theology of Plato, Translated from the Greek; [] Two Volumes, volume II, London: Printed for the author, by A[braham] J[ohn] Valpy, [], →OCLC, footnote 1, page 211:
      The ennead, according to the Pythagoreans, circulates all numbers within itself, and there can be no number beyond it. For the natural progression of numbers is as far as to 9, but after it their retrogression takes place. For 10 becomes as it were again the monad. [] Hence it is not possible there should be any elementary number beyond the ennead.
    • 1868, Hippolytus; J[ohn] H[enry] MacMahon, chapter XLIII, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors, The Refutation of All Heresies, [] (Ante-Nicene Christian Library: []; VI (Hippolytus, Bishop of Rome. Vol. I.)), Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, []; London: Hamilton & Co.; Dublin: John Robertson & Co., →OCLC, book IV (Of the Refutation of All Heresies), page 111:
      [T]he ennead is subtracted for this cause, because the three hundred and sixty parts of the entire [circle] consist of enneads, and for this reason the four regions of the world are circumscribed by ninety perfect parts.
  2. (rare) Any grouping or system containing nine objects.
    • 1852, Edward Greswell, “On the Lunar in Contradistinction to the Solar Modifications of the Primitive Calendar”, in Fasti Temporis Catholici and Origines Kalendariæ. [...] In Four Volumes, volume I, Oxford: At the Oxford University Press, →OCLC, section V (The Octaëteris), pages 566–567:
      We may assert with confidence that no cycle of this kind, and of equal antiquity or even of inferior antiquity, is the actual existence better attested or more thoroughly authenticated than that of this octaëteris of Philammon of Delphi, or, as we may truly call it, this original Pythian ennead of primitive Hellas.
    • 1882, The Church Quarterly Review, volume XIII, London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, →OCLC, page 172:
      The exquisite language of the prophecy of Isaiah, especially in its last three enneads, may have had a nearer primary reference to, and a nearer fulfilment in, the return of the exiles under Zerubbabel, and Ezra, and Nehemiah; []
    • 1884, E[rnest] A[lfred] Wallis Budge, “The Babylonian Religion”, in Babylonian Life and History (By-paths of Bible Knowledge; V), London: Religious Tract Society, [], →OCLC, pages 127–128:
      At one time one god was a greater favourite with the nation than another, and the cult of the god or gods which the old Babylonians preferred in the early days of their empire frequently fell into disuse and neglect in after times. The most important ennead among the Babylonians was as follows:— []



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  1. ^ ennead, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1891; “ennead”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.