From Ancient Greek βαναυσικός (banausikós, “of or for mechanics”), from βάναυσος (bánausos, “mechanical; ironsmith”) + -ῐκός (-ikós, “suffix forming adjectives from nouns, meaning ‘of or pertaining to’”). βάναυσος is derived from βαύνος (baúnos, “forge, furnace”), a Pre-Greek word of unknown origin.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /bəˈnɔːsɪk/
Audio (UK) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /bəˈnɔzɪk/
- Hyphenation: ba‧naus‧ic
- (formal) Of or pertaining to technical matters; mechanical. [from mid 19th c.]
- 1860 November 24, “W.” [pseudonym], “Foreign Correspondence”, in The Athenæum: Journal of English and Foreign Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts, number 1726, London: Printed by James Holmes, […] published at the office, […] by John Francis. [...], OCLC 956082422, page 712, column 2:
- The true "Gentleman," they [the ruling classes] assert, will far more easily acquire the technical knowledge necessary for an officer, a judge, or for the administration of some high post, than one who has been brought up in some banausic speciality, will be able to gain the general educational foundation essential for a good ruler.
- 1951 September 13, T[homas] S[tearns] Eliot, “Virgil and the Christian World”, in The Listener, volume 46, London: British Broadcasting Corporation, OCLC 60626581, page 412, column 2; republished in On Poetry and Poets, 1st Noonday paperbound edition, New York, N.Y.: The Noonday Press, a subsidiary of Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1961 (1969 printing), OCLC 883551697, page 141:
- It was the Greeks who taught us the dignity of leisure; it is from them that we inherit the perception that the highest life is the life of contemplation. But this respect for leisure, with the Greeks, was accompanied by a contempt for the banausic occupations.
- 1979, John Bowle, A History of Europe: A Cultural and Political Survey, London: Secker and Warburg; Heinemann, →ISBN, page 37:
- […] the indifference or contempt which the ruling minorities felt towards "banausic" pursuits or technological gadgetry – an attitude rooted in the literary and oratorical bias of their education.
- (formal) Uncultured, unrefined, utilitarian. [from mid 19th c.]
- Synonym: mundane
- 1845 August, Art. VII.—Etudes sur les Orateurs. Par Timon. Bruxelles. 1834., volume I, London: William Pickering; Oxford: J. Vincent; Cambridge: J. T. Walters, OCLC 224136957, page 206:
- After 1812, and when the worst portion of the Tories got enthroned in the supremacy, when the Banausic principle (we must coin a word from the most expressive of languages to express all its intense vulgarity) began to obtain, […] Lord Grey [Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey] did what might have been expected from so high a gentleman. […] He opposed but not incessantly, angrily, nor with constant faction, but in stately speeches and solemn protests.
- 1957, Lawrence Durrell, “Part I”, in Justine, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: E[dward] P[ayson] Dutton & Co., OCLC 24125287, page 76:
- [H]ow graceful and accurate a portrait of Alexandria he manages to convey; Alexandria and its women. […] One could not expect more from an intruder of gifts who almost by mistake pierced the hard banausic shell of Alexandria and discovered himself.
- 2001, Rupert Woodfin; Judy Groves, illustrator, Richard Appignanesi, editor, Introducing Aristotle (Introducing …), →ISBN, page 152; republished as Introducing Aristotle: A Graphic Guide, London: Icon Books, 2012, →ISBN:
- Not only do poets and artists “tell lies”, not only is art a banausic bad habit, but, worse yet, it ignites desires and passions that prevent us from being the calm intellectual observers required of well-behaved citizens.
- 2007, Philip Howard, “Modern Manners”, in The Times, London; republished in “How Not to Put Your Foot in It”, in Modern Manners: The Essential Guide to Correct Behaviour and Etiquette, London: The Robson Press, 2013, →ISBN:
- People, upon first meeting me, ask: ‘Do you rent or buy?’ I find this impertinent. […] You could fake philosophical unconcern, implying that such banausic matters are best left to your estate agent and factor: ‘I quite forget: my people look after such things.’
- “banausic” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.
- “banausic” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, →ISBN.