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A 1778 statue of Pluto, the Greek and Roman god of the underworld, by Dominik Auliczek at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The word Plutonian means, among other things, “of or relating to Pluto” (etymology 1, adjective sense 1).

Etymology 1[edit]

The adjective is derived from Latin Plūtōnius (of or relating to Pluto, Greek and Roman god of the underworld) +‎ -an (suffix forming adjectives). Plūtōnius is from Ancient Greek Πλουτώνιος (Ploutṓnios, of or relating to Pluto), from Πλούτων (Ploútōn, Pluto) (from πλοῦτος (ploûtos, riches, wealth) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *plew- (to fly; to flow; to run)) + -ων (-ōn)) + -ιος (-ios, suffix forming adjectives). The English word is cognate with Middle French plutonien (modern French plutonien).[1] The noun is derived from the adjective.


Plutonian (comparative more Plutonian, superlative most Plutonian)

  1. (Greek mythology, Roman mythology) Of or relating to Pluto, the Greek and Roman god of the underworld; demonic, infernal.
    Synonyms: Plutonic, Plutonical (obsolete)
  2. (by extension) Of, relating to, or having characteristics associated with the underworld; dark, gloomy; mournful.
    Synonym: plutonic
  3. (by extension, geology) Synonym of plutonic (of or pertaining to rocks formed deep in the Earth's crust, rather than by volcanoes at the surface of the Earth)
    Synonyms: abyssal, intrusive
  4. (by extension, geology, historical) Synonym of plutonic (of, pertaining to, or supporting plutonism, the theory that the rocks of the Earth were formed in fire by volcanic activity, with a continuing gradual process of weathering and erosion, then deposited on the sea bed, re-formed into layers of sedimentary rock by heat and pressure, and raised again)
    • 1822, Joseph Sutcliffe, The Geology of the Avon, being an Enquiry into the Order of the Strata and Mineral Productions of the District Washed by Its Streams, Bristol: Printed by Philip Rose, []; for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, []; and Thomas Blanchard, [], OCLC 504453241, pages 3–4:
      One system, now called the Plutonian, regards, the earth's crust on which we now live, as the debris of two former worlds, and our present continents as the elevations of the bottom of the sea by subterranean heat. If this theory be founded on fact, why do not our rocks present us with beds of shell-fish in families as are now living at the bottom of the sea?
    • 1830 July–September, “Notes. [...] 2. Walk from Aberdeen to Castleton of Braemar—Country around Castleton—From Castleton to Spittal of Glen Shee and Blair Gowrie. [...]”, in Robert Jameson, editor, The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, Exhibiting a View of the Progressive Discoveries and Improvements in the Sciences and the Arts, Edinburgh: Printed for Adam Black, []; London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, OCLC 729504366, pages 269–270:
      The country around Aberdeen is almost entirely composed of primitive rocks. Of these there are two sets, Neptunian and Plutonian. [...] [T]he Plutonian rocks are granite, with feldspar, or granitic porphyry. [...] [T]he great bodies of Plutonian granite, as those exposed in the celebrated granite quarries, render it probable that the stratified Neptunian rocks owe much of their contorted and broken aspect, and also, in some degree, their position, to the action of this igneous rock.
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Plutonian (plural Plutonians)

  1. (geology, historical) A proponent of plutonism; a plutonist.
    Antonyms: Neptunian, Neptunist
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Etymology 2[edit]

A composite image of the dwarf planet Pluto taken on 14 July 2015 by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s space probe New Horizons. The word Plutonian can mean “of or relating to Pluto”, and “an (imaginary) inhabitant of Pluto” (etymology 2, adjective sense 2 and noun sense 2).

From Pluto (dwarf planet in the Solar System) +‎ -n- +‎ -ian (suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘from, related to, or like’, or nouns meaning ‘one belonging to, relating to, or like’), probably influenced by Plutonian (of or relating to Pluto, Greek and Roman god of the underworld) (see etymology 1).


Plutonian (not comparable)

  1. (astrology) Pertaining to the astrological influence of Pluto, formerly regarded as a planet.
    • 1985, Liz Greene, “Fate and Synchronicity”, in The Astrology of Fate, Boston, Mass.: Weiser Books, Red Wheel/Weiser, →ISBN, page 293:
      Another and perhaps more Plutonian view of this would be that David's bondage to his mother and the codes of behaviour which she set for him had extended throughout his life, in both profes[s]ional and personal spheres; and that bondage now had an opportunity of loosening, with all the attendant consequences.
    • 2006 October 6, Jessica Murray, “Power Madness: Pluto and American Hegemony”, in Soul-sick Nation: An Astrologer’s View of America, Bloomington, Ind.; Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire: AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 41:
      The notion of toxicity is a useful one in our effort to understand the further implications of Pluto in the USA chart. [...] Factor in what we have learned about the second house and we get another meaning of waste, related but distinctly more Plutonian: debris that poses an elimination problem once its value has been used up.
  2. (astronomy) Of or relating to the dwarf planet Pluto.
    • 1959, Donald A[llen] Wollheim, “The Museum of Galactic Life”, in Cecile Matschat, editor, The Secret of the Ninth Planet (A Science Fiction Novel), Philadelphia, Pa.: John C. Winston Co., OCLC 1283457; republished in The Tom Corbett, Space Cadet Megapack, [Rockville, Md.]: Wildside Press, 2012, →ISBN:
      Burl studied the captured Plutonian hand weapons, and was pleased to have one of the Neptunian soldiers pick one up and demonstrate how it was fired. It had apparently simpler controls than most Plutonian products, for it easily blazed forth a bolt of electronic fire that blasted a tall, crystalline tree to shards.
    • 1969 January, Sh. G. Sharaf, “Introduction”, in Theory of Motion of the Planet Pluto: Part One. Plutonian Perturbations of the First Order with Respect to Perturbing Masses: [] (NASA Technical Translations; NASA TT F-490), Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, OCLC 1109630419, page 4:
      Roure did not carry his work to completion. He derived only four intermediate orbits of Pluto for the combinations of Pluto and the four outer planets, and determined the inequalities in the Plutonian motion under the effect of Neptune which are dependent on the first degree of Plutonian eccentricity and inclination.
    • 1997, Roger V. Yelle; James L[udlow] Elliot, “Atmospheric Structure and Composition: Pluto and Charon”, in S[ol] Alan Stern and David J[ames] Tholen, editors, Pluto and Charon (Space Science series), Tucson, Ariz.: University of Arizona Press, →ISBN, part IV (Atmospheres), page 347:
      [Gerard] Kuiper (1944) searched for spectroscopic evidence of an atmosphere around Pluto as part of the same program that discovered CH4 on Titan. Because of the difficulty of observing an object as faint as Pluto, no useful results were obtained; however, Kuiper presented arguments in favor of a Plutonian atmosphere based on the stability of the atmosphere against loss to space.
    • 2010, Kristi Lew, “Pluto’s Structure and Features”, in Karen Ang, editor, The Dwarf Planet Pluto (Space!), Tarrytown, N.Y.: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, →ISBN, page 31:
      [James Walter] Christy also knew that 6.39 days is the exact period of time that it takes Pluto to make one complete turn around its axis—the length of a Plutonian day.


Plutonian (plural Plutonians)

  1. (astrology) A person under the astrological influence of Pluto, formerly regarded as a planet.
    • 1986, Donna Cunningham, “The Personality and Character of the Plutonian”, in Healing Pluto Problems, Boston, Mass.: Weiser Books, Red Wheel/Weiser, →ISBN, page 28:
      If you are a Plutonian and some of these traits emphatically do not fit you, just let them go and take what is helpful and descriptive of you personally. What will be given is a composite picture, based on working with a great many Plutonians over the years. Plutonians who are negatively inclined are often very guarded and rigid, afraid to let others get close. [...] There are Plutonians who operate predominantly on the positive level—healing, transforming, transmuting themselves and those around them.
  2. (chiefly science fiction) An (imaginary) inhabitant of the dwarf planet Pluto.
    • 1998, Everett F[ranklin] Bleiler; Richard Bleiler, “[Story Descriptions.] 1423. THE EARTHMAN’S BURDEN. Astounding Stories, June 1931, Ill. Paul.”, in Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years: A Complete Coverage of the Genre Magazines Amazing, Astounding, Wonder, and Others from 1926 through 1936, Kent, Oh.; London: Kent State University Press, →ISBN, page 409, column 1:
      The Plutonians, who are almost extinct, once held a superscience that they have largely lost. Early Plutonian visits to Earth survived in folk memory as the devil, since Plutonians are gigantic, with horns, hooves, and tail.
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