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Alternative forms[edit]


From Ancient Greek ὀμφαλός (omphalós, navel) + σκέψις (sképsis, perception, reflection)



omphaloskeptic (plural omphaloskeptics)

  1. One who contemplates or meditates upon one's navel; one who engages in omphaloscopy.
    • 1956, Francis Wyndham, "A Beginning and Other Stories", London Magazine, January 1956, page 85,
      The trouble with this book, however, is that he gazes so fixedly at himself that his own eyes dazzle a little. He is not an omphalosceptic. His gaze never turns downwards; it is kept obstinately at face-level.
    • 1970, Aldous Huxley, Letters of Aldous Huxley, Harper & Row, page 78,
      … though you must admit that no omphaloskeptic, nay, not Plotinus, could have so utterly realized the Infinite as at moments one did to night.
    • 1980, John B. Bremner, Words on Words: A Dictionary for Writers and Others Who Care About Words, Columbia University Press, →ISBN, pages 268-269
      Omphalopsychites: Mencken's word for those who dream of bringing American English into line with English English. Omphalos is Greek for navel, whence also omphaloskeptic, one who dreams up bright ideas while gazing at (skepsis, a looking at) his navel.
    • 1998, Eddie Muller, Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, Macmillan, →ISBN, pages 154,
      His coronation as the Grand Omphaloskeptic of the cinema was still more than a decade away.


omphaloskeptic (not comparable)

  1. Likely to, prone to, or engaged in contemplating or meditating upon one's navel.
    • 1998, Louis C. Burmeister, Elements of Thermal-Fluid System Design, Prentice Hall, →ISBN, pages 31,
      This approach has been referred to as an omphaloskeptic method of design, so called after the term omphaloskepsis used to describe the technique of meditation through contemplation of the navel (from the Greek "omphalos" for navel and "skepsis" for examination).

Usage notes[edit]

Both the noun and adjective are often used in a derogative fashion, to indicate that a person is not in tune with reality.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]