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Priapus +‎ -ic, from Ancient Greek πριαπισμός (priapismós, erection), derived from Πρίαπος (Príapos), a god of procreation pictured with an erect phallus in Greek mythology.


  • IPA(key): /pɹaɪˈæpɪk/, /pɹaɪˈeɪpɪk/


priapic (comparative more priapic, superlative most priapic)

  1. Phallic. [from 1786]
    Synonyms: phallic
  2. Related to or overly concerned with male sexual activity or exhibiting excessive male sexual activity.
    • 2017 October 1, “A portrait of the artists as a pair of young wastrels”, in Standpoint Magazine[1]:
      Both artists were charming, shameless and cruel, and revelled in what Bacon called an “atmosphere of threat”. Often on the run or hiding out, they led priapic private lives: Bacon was homosexual, Freud hetero.
    • 2017 September 30, Ross Douthat, “Speaking Ill of Hugh Hefner”, in New York Times[2]:
      And in every way that mattered his life story proved that we were wrong to listen to him, because at the end of the long slide lay only a degraded, priapic senility, or the desperate gaiety of Prince Prospero’s court with the Red Death at the door.
  3. Excessively masculine; excessively concerned with masculinity.
    Synonyms: virile
    • 2014 August 23, “Travails of a modern city”, in The Economist[3]:
      Gabriele D’Annunzio, a priapic, drug-addicted poet, war hero, military adventurer and man about town, was a mesmeric figure who encouraged triumphalism in Italy’s nationalist right-wingers.

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