Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: timonean


Etymology 1[edit]

Timon +‎ -an, from the 5th-century BC person Timon of Athens (as described by Plutarch, Lucian, Aristophanes), possibly by way of William Shakespeare's play Timon of Athens (c. 1607). Used by John Toland in a letter (c. 1710-1722), apparently as a rare word or neologism. Used by Thomas Amory in The Life of John Buncle, Vol. II (1766), as a regular word.


Timonean (comparative more Timonean, superlative most Timonean)

  1. Of a form of bitter misanthropy related to Timonism, like Timon of Athens.
    • ~1710-1722, John Toland, undated letter:[1]
      Solitude, on the contrary, not only deprives us of both the past and the future, but always inclines the present hour to joyless melancholy, which sooner or later ends in something intractable, Timonean, (pardon the word) or perhaps more fatal.
    • 1766, Thomas Amory, The Life of John Buncle, Vol. II:[2]
      Such was the account Mr. Hobart gave me of himself, (which made me admire him much, as he was but fifty then) and to convince me his temper had nothing Timonean or unsocial in it from his solitary life, he requested I would dine with him.
    • 1849, Herman Melville, Mardi:[3]
      And so in love with his Timonean solitude was Rozoko, that it needed many bribes and bland persuasions, to induce him to desert his mossy, hillside, misanthropic cave, for the distracting tumult of a court.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Timon +‎ -an, from a 3rd-century BC disciple of Pyrrho, Skeptic philosopher and satirist Timon of Phlius (c. 320 – c. 230 BC).


Timonean (comparative more Timonean, superlative most Timonean)

  1. Pertaining or related to Timon of Phlius, his life, works, style, or ideas.
    • 2009, Dee L. Clayman, Timon of Phlius:[4]
      Since only a small percentage of Timon's oeuvre has survived and much of Callimachus' work is equally fragmentary there are no direct quotes or precise allusions, but it is possible to discern some features of Callimachus' work that seem remarkably Timonean.


  1. ^ John Toland (1670–1722), "To Mrs. ***", undated letter (est. 1710-1722 due to content: after his 1710 return to London and retirement, before his 1722 death); repr. in Pierre des Maizeaux (ed., aka "Pierre Desmaizeaux"), A Collection of Several Pieces of Mr. John Toland, 2 vols., Vol. 2, London: printed for J. Peele, 1726, p. 412 at Google Books.
  2. ^ Thomas Amory (uncredited), The Life of John Buncle, Esq; Containing Various Observations and Reflections, Made in Several Parts of the World, and Many Extraordinary Relations. Vol. II, London: printed for J. Johnson and B. Davenport, 1766, section VII, §8 (item 91 in the TOC, "The History of Claudius Hobart, a recluse"), p. 236 at Google Books.
  3. ^ Herman Melville, Mardi: And a Voyage Thither, 1849, Vol. II, Chapter LXX "They Land at Hooloomooloo"; quoted from the 1864 reprint at Gutenberg.org.
  4. ^ Dee L. Clayman, Timon of Phlius: Pyrrhonism into Poetry, Walter de Gruyter, 2009, ISBN 978-3110220803, Chapter 5 "Timon's Reception in Hellenistic Literature", p. 148 at Google Books.