Definition of athetize in English:


(also athetise)


[with object]rare
  • Reject (a passage in a text) as spurious.

    ‘groups of athetized lines’
    • ‘You may find it was a line athetized by Aristarchus, or a word variant suggested by Zenodotus, in which case you can suspect your perception of the Greek language is getting better.’
    • ‘When he asserted that the entire book should be athetized, he became one of the first in a long line of scholars to consign the entire book to the status of a book fragment.’
    • ‘Aristaracus, like many later commentators, was uncertain about the purpose of this passage and therefore athetized it.’
    • ‘When Homer said something that would better have been left unsaid, one option for the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria was simply to athetize it - to declare it spurious on the ground that Homer could not have said such a thing.’


Late 19th century: from Greek athetos ‘without position’ + -ize, rendering the Greek verb athetein.