Lethe

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See also: lethe and Léthé

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Etymology[edit]

From Latin Lēthē, from Ancient Greek Λήθη (Lḗthē).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈliːθi/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːθi

Proper noun[edit]

Lethe

  1. (Greek mythology) The personification of oblivion, daughter of Eris.
  2. (Greek mythology) The river which flows through Hades from which the souls of the dead drank so that they would forget their time on Earth.
    Coordinate terms: Acheron, Cocytus, Eridanos, Phlegethon, Styx
    • 1740, David Garrick, Lethe: or Aesop in the Shade[1], published 1782:
      No wonder these mortal Folks have so many Complaints, [] if they were dead now, and to be settled here for ever, they'd be damn'd before they'd make such a Rout come over—“But care, I suppose, is thirsty; and till they have drench’d themselves with Lethe, there will be no quiet among ’em” however, I’ll e’en to work; and so, friend Æsop, and brother Mercury, good bye to ye.
    • 1820, John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale:
      My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains / My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, / Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains / One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
    • 1837, Thomas Carlyle, chapter IV, in The French Revolution: A History [], volume I (The Bastille), London: Chapman and Hall Limited, OCLC 1026761782, book IV (States-General):
      For two-and-twenty years he [Doctor Guillotin], unguillotined, shall hear nothing but guillotine, see nothing but guillotine; then dying, shall through long centuries wander, as it were, a disconsolate ghost, on the wrong side of Styx and Lethe; his name like to outlive Cæsar’s.
    • 1890, William Booth, chapter 6, in In Darkest England and the Way Out[2]:
      A well-fed man is not driven to drink by the craving that torments the hungry; and the comfortable do not crave for the boon of forgetfulness. Gin is the only Lethe of the miserable.
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, “The Critic as Artist”, in Intentions:
      When we have done penance, and are purified, and have drunk of the fountain of Lethe and bathed in the fountain of Eunoe, the mistress of our soul raises us to the Paradise of Heaven.
    • 2015, Peter E. Meltzer, The Thinker's Thesaurus, W. W. Norton & Company, →ISBN:
      oblivion n.: Lethe. In Greek mythology, Lethe (pronounced LEEthee) is one of the several rivers of Hades. Those who drink from it experience complete forgetfulness. Today it is used to refer to one in an oblivious or forgetful state.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin Lēthē.

Proper noun[edit]

Lethe f (genitive Lethes or Lethe)

  1. (mythology, literary) Lethe
    • 1924, Thomas Mann, Der Zauberberg [The Magic Mountain], volume 1, Berlin: S. Fischer, page 13:
      Zeit, sagt man, ist Lethe; aber auch Fernluft ist so ein Trank, und sollte sie weniger gründlich wirken, so tut sie es dafür desto rascher.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Further reading[edit]

  • Lethe” in Duden online
  • Lethe” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache

Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Ancient Greek Λήθη (Lḗthē).

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Lēthē f sg (genitive Lēthēs); first declension (Greek)

  1. (Greek mythology) the river Lethe, the river of oblivion

Declension[edit]

First-declension noun (Greek-type), with locative, singular only.

Case Singular
Nominative Lēthē
Genitive Lēthēs
Dative Lēthae
Accusative Lēthēn
Ablative Lēthē
Vocative Lēthē
Locative Lēthae

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • Lethe”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Lethe”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • Lethe in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette