Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Achilles +‎ -an



Achillean (comparative more Achillean, superlative most Achillean)

  1. Resembling or relating to Achilles, the hero of the Iliad.
    • 1959, A.C. Hamilton, “Spenser's Treatment of Myth”, in ELH, volume 26, number 3:
      Guyon subdues these Achillean affections through his own power; but they break out again as Cymochles lapses into lust and Pyrochles burns in the idle lake.
    • 1995, Eric Scott Mallin, Inscribing the Time: Shakespeare and the End of Elizabethan England, →ISBN:
      Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has offered salutary warnings against seeing in male homosexuality a simple "epitome, ... The two genres of homosocial behavior in the text can be seen as chivalric or antichivalric, Hectoresque or Achillean: the first is active, specular, militant, conservative, apparently (not really) heterosexually inflected; the other is listless, covert, pacifistic, and passively subversive, clearly (not entirely) homosexually inclined.
    1. Invincible with only one small weakness (an Achilles heel), which becomes one's downfall.
    2. Guided by emotional motives, especially rage, rather than reason.
  2. Of or relating to Achilles Tatius, a Roman-era Greek writer.
    • 2004, Helen Morales, Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon, →ISBN:
      There is, I suggest, a typically Achillean joke at play here, a visual pun, displaying the phoenix as truly phoenix-ian in its exposure of its sex organs and at the same time snidely alluding to the Phoenicians' famed preoccupation with female genitalia.
    • 2009, David A. Powell, 21st-Century Gay Culture, →ISBN, page 51:
      We are once again reaching a period in our collective cultural history when we may resume the post-Platonic, Achillean conversation.
  3. Pertaining to the Achilles tendon.
    • 1890, The London Medical Recorder - Volume 3, page 481:
      Tendon-reflexes, as a rule, remain intact, except the Achillean one, which is frequently either absent or lowered.
    • 1901, The Medical Examiner and General Practitioner:
      The Achillean reflex is the contraction obtained in the gastrocnemii and solei by the percussion of the tendo Achillis.
    • 2015, Yasser El Miedany, Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography in Rheumatic Diseases, →ISBN, page 371:
      The posterior compartment contains the Achille's tendon, the deep pre-Achillean and superficial retro-Achillean bursae, and the posterior aspect of the talo-calcaneal joint.
  4. Of or relating to sexual or romantic intimacy between men, in the style of Achilles' relationship with Patroclus.
    • 3rd century BCE, Theocritus, Idyll XXIX:
      "You should think of this and be pleasanter toward me, and love me as guilelessly as I love you, so that when you are a man we may be Achillean friends to each other." Theocritus, Moschus, Bion, edited and translated by Neil Hopkinson, Cambridge MA - London (2015)
    • 1883, John Addington Symonds, A Problem in Greek Ethics, page 21:
      At Chaeronea, Greek liberty, Greek heroism, and Greek love, properly so-called, expired. It is not unworthy of notice that the son of the conqueror, young Alexander, endeavoured to revive the tradition of Achilleian friendship. [...] Homer was his invariable companion upon his marches; in the Troad he paid special honour to the tomb of Achilles, running naked races round the barrow in honour of the hero [...]. The historians of his life relate that, while he was indifferent to women, he was madly given to the love of males. This the story of his sorrow for Hephaistion sufficiently confirms.
    • 1980, Douglas Fowler, A Reader's Guide to Gravity's Rainbow, page 169:
      Historically, there was indeed an Achillean, homosexual flavor of the declassé bachelorhood out of which Hitler and others formed the advance guard of National Socialism.
    • 1995, Gay Wilson Allen & Ed Folsom, Walt Whitman & the World, →ISBN, page 254:
      Thus, he exalts as a means of republican cohesion, as the unshakeable basis of the modern nation what he calls "manly love," a sort of Achillean friendship, but at the same time it is this love, this passionate friendship that he sings.
    • 2007, Waldemar Heckel, Lawrence A. Tritle, & Pat Wheatley, Alexander's Empire: Formulation to Decay, page 87:
      For Theocritus Idyll 29.34 the sexual love between Achilles and Patroclus was so uncontroversial that it could be referred to in a pederastic poem by means of the shorthand "Achillean friends".
    Synonym: MLM (men loving men or men who love men)



Achillean (plural Achilleans)

  1. A fighter on the side of Achilles in the Trojan war; an Achaean.
    • 1881, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, The History of Don Quixote of la Mancha, page 453:
      [A] singular genius, whose mathematical studies gave him in his own day the reputation of a necromancer, espousing fervently the cause of Hector, called out in a voice of thunder, "Let us see whether the Achilleans can fight as well as speak?"
    • 2009, Velio Bocci, Women At The Helm, Arena books (→ISBN):
      Even the romantic and glorious vision of this war is mostly rhetoric because the cunning Ulysses with the Achilleans invented the successful stratagem of the horse for committing great evils with the destruction of the city, ...