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Timon +‎ -ize, 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 intransitively by William Darrell in his book The Gentleman Instructed (1713). Used transitively by Herman Melville in his novel Pierre (1852).


Timonize (third-person singular simple present Timonizes, present participle Timonizing, simple past and past participle Timonized)

  1. (intransitive) To behave as a misanthrope.
    • 1713, William Darrell, The Gentleman Instructed, 5th edition:[1]
      I should be tempted to Timonize, and clap a Satyr upon our whole Species.
  2. (transitive) To cause (someone) to slide into bitter misanthropy, into Timonism.
    • 1852, Herman Melville, Pierre: or, The Ambiguities, Harper & Brothers, page 348:
      And it may well be believed, that after the wonderful vital world-revelation so suddenly made to Pierre at the Meadows—a revelation which, at moments, in some certain things, fairly Timonized him—he had not failed to clutch with peculiar nervous detestation and contempt that ample parcel, containing the letters of his Biographico and other silly correspondents, which, in a less ferocious hour, he had filed away as curiosities.
    • 1983, Michael L. Ross, "Lawrence's letters", in Russell: the Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies, volume 3, number 1 (Summer 1983), page 58:
      Lawrence's progressive alienation from his countrymen and finally from humanity – as it were, the "Timonizing" process that overcame him – went hand in hand with his estrangement from Russell.

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  1. ^ See OED.