Definition of nostos in English:



  • A homecoming or homeward journey as a literary subject or topos; specifically the return of Odysseus and the other Greek heroes of the Trojan War, as narrated especially in the Odyssey. Also (in extended use): the conclusion of a literary work.


1920s ; earliest use found in James Joyce (1882–1941), writer. From ancient Greek νόστος return home, in Hellenistic Greek as plural Νόστοι also the title of a lost poem of the Epic Cycle dealing with the return of the Greeks from the Trojan War from an ablaut variant of the base of νεῖσθαι to return home (cognate with Sanskrit nas- to consort together, astam home, Old English nesan to escape, be saved, survive, Gothic -nisan (in ganisan to be saved, healed), and perhaps Tocharian B nes- to be) + -τος, suffix forming nouns.