One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of an activity or a creative work) having an end or purpose in itself.
- ‘Stevens's autotelic and monological poem is not permitted to stand alone.’
- ‘If the poem is an autotelic entity, an end-in-itself, then sound is more important.’
- ‘Art's emancipation from its autotelic confinement reappropriates ‘the product of art [which] is the tool for the direct or indirect social action.’’
Early 20th century: from auto- ‘self’ + Greek telos ‘end’ + -ic.
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