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From Ancient Greek καιρός (kairós).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkaɪɹɒs/, /-oʊs/, /ˈkɛə-/


kairos (plural kairoi)

  1. A time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action; the opportune and decisive moment.
    Coordinate term: chronos
    • 1968, Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Bantam, published 1997, →ISBN, page 114:
      The—so-called! friends—rational world. If only they, Mom&Dad&Buddy&Sis, dear-but-square ones, could but know the kairos, the supreme moment…
    • 1972, Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet (Crosswicks Journals), San Francisco: Harper & Row, →ISBN, page 245:
      Kairos is not measurable. Kairos is ontological. In kairos we are, we are fully in isness, not negatively, as Sartre saw the isness of the oak tree, but fully, wholly, positively.
    • 1980, Howard Alexander Slaatte, Time And Its End, Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, →ISBN, page 87:
      It is a confrontation and invasion of the eternal into the temporal, what Paul Tillich also refers to in the biblical term kairos as distinguished from chronos or common linear time. Kairos is time qualified by eternal relevance, time that is of significance to the Eternal because it is disturbed by and invested with the eternal.

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