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catamite +‎ -ism



catamitism (uncountable)

  1. The practice of keeping catamites.
    • 1686: Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras and Ferrand Spence, The Hiſtory of the Life and Actions of that Great Captain of his Age the Viſcount de Turenne, page 312:
      [T]he Viſcount de Turenne…Remonſtrated to Madam de Buillon, that this Prince having us’d his firſt Wife Ill, whom he had kick’d when with Child, of which ſhe dy’d, ‛twas expoſing her Daughter to the like treatment; that he was addicted to Wine and Women, Qualities not only unworthy a Perſon of his Rank, but allſo to a little Catamitiſm
    • 1973: Roy Temple House and Ernst Erich Noth, Books Abroad, volume 47, issue 3, page 574:
      Exhibitionists do not like to confess their venial sins — catamitism and group sex, yes, petty avarice and pettier maliciousness, no: the latter faults do not make for salable reading.
    • 1989: The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats, volume 22, page 136:
      In Satire 4, Persius attacked Nero’s “depilation and heterosexual” lust; Dryden substituted homosexuality, catamitism, and impotency, alluding to William’s rumored sexual liaisons with his Dutch favorites.
    • 1996: Jacqueline Long, Claudian’s In Eutropium: Or, How, When, and Why to Slander a Eunuch, page 80:
      Libanius’s invective against Philip successively despises barbarian origins in and of themselves, mocks dependency, rebukes failure to learn cultural values, snidely notes catamitism, drowns practical achievements in the immorality alleged to have won them, and further damns character with accounts of unproductive vice[.]
    • 2005, Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Aulus Gellius: An Antonine Scholar and His Achievement[1], page 207:
      Caelius will never take the allegation of catamitism in his youth so hard…that is silly, for we cannot repent of things like good looks that are not of our causation.
  2. (philosophy, rare) The essence of being a catamite.
    • 1994: Michael Ryan, “Foucault’s Fallacy” in Reconstructing Foucault: Essays in the Wake of the 80s, page 175:
      Effeminacy…may not have been the quality that gave catamitism its meaning; rather, catamitism…may have been the normative danger that qualified effeminacy as a threat to male heterosexual rule.


For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:catamitism.

Related terms[edit]