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From Ancient Greek ὑποστατίζω (hupostatízō, I hypostatize).


  • IPA(key): /haɪˈpɒstətaɪz/


hypostatize (third-person singular simple present hypostatizes, present participle hypostatizing, simple past and past participle hypostatized)

  1. (transitive) To render into, or regard as, a separate and distinct substance; to construe a contextually-subjective and complex abstraction, idea, or concept as a universal object without regard to nuance or change in character.
    • 1887 April, Thomas Henry Huxley, “Scientific and Pseudo-scientific Realism”, in Popular Science Monthly, volume 30:
      On the other hand, there were a few who could see no objective reality in anything but individuals, and looked upon both species and genera as hypostatized universals.
    • 1980, David Held, Introduction to Critical Theory, University of California Press, →ISBN, page 172:
      Positivism, restricted to a programme of investigating observable particulars, cannot grasp the ‘self-formative process of man as process’. It hypostatizes the abstract concept of fact or datum.
  2. (transitive) To attribute actual or personal existence to.
    • 2005 February, Cardozo Law Review:
      Progressives are wrong to hypostatize their belief in mankind's eternal advance, and to disavow anything that does not fit this preordained vision.
    • 2011, Paul Evdokimov, Orthodoxy:
      Roman Christianity is characterized by filial love and obedience expressed towards the fatherly authority hypostatized in the first Person of the Trinity []

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