Olympian

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

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Late Middle English Olympyan, from Latin Olympius (of or relating to Mount Olympus) and its etymon Ancient Greek Ὀλῠ́μπῐος (Olúmpios, of or relating to Mount Olympus; living on Mount Olympus; Olympian) + English -an (suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘of or pertaining to’, or forming agent nouns). Ὀλῠ́μπῐος (Olúmpios) is derived from Ὄλῠμπος (Ólumpos, Mount Olympus) (from Pre-Greek) + -ῐος (-ios, suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘of or pertaining to’).[1]

Adjective[edit]

Olympian (not generally comparable, comparative more Olympian, superlative most Olympian)

  1. (not comparable) Of or relating to Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece; or (Greek mythology) the Greek gods and goddesses who were believed to live there.
    Synonym: Olympic
  2. (comparable, by extension) Resembling a Greek deity in some way.
    1. Celestial, heavenly; also, godlike.
    2. Acting in a remote and superior manner; aloof.
      • 2011, Thomas Penn, “Richmond”, in Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, published March 2012, →ISBN, part 1 (Blood and Roses), page 51:
        The Olympian distance he so carefully cultivated was shot through with genuine exhaustion. Workaholic and overburdened with affairs of state, he had evidently written the letter in snached moments between other matters.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

Olympian (plural Olympians)

  1. (Greek mythology) Any of the 12 principal gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, and Hades); (specifically) preceded by the: Zeus, the supreme ruler of the Greek deities.
  2. (figuratively) A person with superior talents or towering achievements.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Late Latin Olympianus (Olympic) + English -an (suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘of or pertaining to’, or forming agent nouns). Olympianus is derived from Latin Olympia (town in Elis, Greece, where the ancient Olympic Games were held) + -ānus (suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’); and Olympia is from Ancient Greek Ὀλυμπῐ́ᾱ (Olumpíā, Olympia), from Ὀλῠ́μπῐος (Olúmpios, of or pertaining to Mount Olympus; living on Mount Olympus, Olympian; (specifically) Zeus) or Ὄλῠμπος (Ólumpos, Mount Olympus) (see further at etymology 1) + -ῐ́ᾱ (-íā, suffix forming feminine abstract nouns).[2]

As regards noun sense 1 (“inhabitant of the city of Olympia, Washington, United States”), the city was named after the Olympic Mountains which are visible to the northwest, which in turn were named after Mount Olympus in Greece.

Adjective[edit]

Olympian (not comparable)

  1. (historical) Of or relating to the town of Olympia in Elis, Greece; Olympic.
  2. (sports)
    1. (historical) Of or relating to the ancient Olympic Games held at Olympia; Olympic.
      • 1612, Plutarke of Chæronea [i.e., Plutarch], “The Life of Alexander the Great”, in Thomas North, transl., The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romaines, Compared together by that Grave Learned Philosopher and Historiographer Plutarke of Chæronea: [], London: [] Richard Field, OCLC 1113266952, page 675:
        For he [Alexander the Great] was not (as his father Philip [II of Macedon]) deſirous of all kind of glorie: who like a Rhetoritian had a delight to vtter his eloquence, and ſtamped in his coines, the victories he had wonne at the Olympian games, by the ſwift running of his horſe and coaches. For when he was asked one day (becauſe he was ſwift of foot) whether he would aſſay to run for victorie at the Olympian games: I could be content, ſaid he, ſo I might run with kings.
      • 1705, Tho[mas] Hearne, “The Gro[u]nds of Chronology”, in Ductor Historicus: Or, A Short System of Universal History, and an Introduction to the Study of It. [], volume I, 2nd edition, London: [] Tim[othy] Childe, [], OCLC 505959925, book I (Chronology), page 22:
        The Olympian Games were celebrated at the Full Moon after the Somer Solſtice, ſo the Olympian Years begin at that Seaſon.
      • 1720, Herodotus, “Book VI. Erato.”, in Isaac Littlebury, transl., The History of Herodotus: Translated from the Greek, volume II, 2nd edition, London: [] A. Bell, [], OCLC 225427604, page 126:
        During his Exile he [Cimon Coalemos] obtain'd the Olympian Prize in the Quadrijugal Chariot-race, and transferr'd the Honour to Miltiades [the Elder] his Mother's Son.
      • 1743, [John Lockman], “Of the Customs and Manners of the Grecians”, in The History of Greece. By Way of Question and Answer. [], London: [] R[obert] Dodsley [], and sold by M. Cooper [], OCLC 1227613744, section II (Of Publick Festivals; viz. of the Olympian, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian Games), page 172:
        Q. Were Women allow'd to be preſent at thoſe Games? / A. At firſt they were ſo ſtrict in this reſpect, that any Women who croſs'd the River Alpheus while theſe Games were celebrating, were condemn'd to be tumbled down a Rock. But afterwards, Women were even ſuffer'd to perform in the Olympian Games, and they ſometimes won the Prizes.
    2. Of or relating to the modern Olympic Games; Olympic.
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

Olympian (plural Olympians)

  1. An inhabitant of the city of Olympia, the capital of Washington, United States.
  2. (sports)
    1. (historical) A sportsperson competing in the ancient Olympic Games.
    2. A sportsperson competing in the modern Olympic Games.
      • 2020 August 28, Steve Solomon, “Covid has stripped Olympic glory from a generation of athletes – that’s heartbreaking”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian[1], London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 28 June 2021:
        I will forever carry the pride and privilege of representing this amazing country on the grandest global stage. There is so much that comes with that, with being an Olympian. But now, because of Covid-19, some athletes will never get that honour. [] There will be people who were getting the timing right for 2020 who won't be in 2021. From in one year does not guarantee form in the next. That is absolutely heart-breaking. There will be athletes in the community that should have become Olympians. Because of Covid-19, they will never get that opportunity.
      • 2021 July 22, Alice Park, “How Olympians are Fighting to Put Athletes’ Mental Health First”, in Time[2], New York, N.Y.: Time Warner Publishing, ISSN 0928-8430, OCLC 749127914, archived from the original on 22 July 2021:
        [] Olympians’ mental health has never been a key concern for the sports governing bodies that oversee them.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Compare “Olympian, adj.1 and n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “Olympian, adj. and n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ Olympian, adj.2 and n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “Olympian, adj. and n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]