omphaloskepsis

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek ὀμφαλός (omphalós, navel) + σκέψις (sképsis, perception, reflection)

Noun[edit]

omphaloskepsis (uncountable)

  1. Contemplation of or meditation upon one's navel.
  2. (figuratively) ratiocination to the point of self-absorption
    • 1948, John Frederick Wolfenden, The Public Schools To-day: A Study in Boarding School Education, University of London Press, page 108,
      Act we must; for we cannot sit rapt in educational omphaloscepsis while youngsters grow up and become the fathers and mothers of the next generation.
    • 1952, William Harold Ingrams, Hong Kong, H. M. Stationery Off., page 22,
      … like the Muslims who saw Mecca as the world's navel, the British saw London as the world's capital. Omphaloscepsis has always been one of the world's troubles.
    • 1975, Donald Watt, Aldous Huxley, the Critical Heritage, ISBN 0710081146, page 308,
      Calamy alone is not debunked; and Calamy has defended omphaloskepsis and has set himself the ideal of free personal contemplation and recollection.
    • 1998, Louis C. Burmeister, Elements of Thermal-Fluid System Design, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0136602185, pages 31,
      This approach has been referred to as an omphaloskeptic method of design, so called after the term omphaloskepsis used to describe the technique of meditation through contemplation of the navel (from the Greek "omphalos" for navel and "skepsis" for examination).

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