One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in Jewish legend) a clay figure brought to life by magic.
- ‘The golem of Jewish legend, for example, is a powerful automaton.’
- ‘You most likely know of the clay golem; most people do.’
- ‘In the middle ages the myth of the golem, a living creature made from clay in the image of Adam, was the pinnacle of metaphysical alchemy.’
- ‘The idea of the android clearly has close links to the medieval Jewish stories of the golem.’
- 1.1 An automaton or robot.
- ‘Once the assassin passed the golem, the golem awoke with pure rage in his eyes.’
- ‘He has been credited with having created the golem, a Frankenstein figure, a living being without soul.’
- ‘Often in these legends, the golems take on a life of their own, and gain increasing power the longer they are animated.’
- ‘Janus lightly tapped the golem's head, and its eyes closed.’
- ‘Then the pixie, golem, and dragon charged at us, and blacked me out.’
Late 19th century: from Yiddish goylem, from Hebrew gōlem ‘shapeless mass’.
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