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Cthulhu as drawn by Lovecraft (1934)

Alternative forms[edit]


Invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story The Call of Cthulhu. Possibly based on chthonic (dwelling under the earth).


  • IPA(key): (widely used spelling pronunciation) /kəˈθuːluː/, /kəˈtuːluː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːlu, -uː

Usage notes[edit]

  • Lovecraft used various approximations of what he imagined as a name not pronounceable by humans, none of which he described clearly.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
    • 1928, H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu:
      Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency.

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