Definition of Procrustean in English:



  • (especially of a framework or system) enforcing uniformity or conformity without regard to natural variation or individuality.

    ‘a fixed Procrustean rule’
    • ‘Both money and grades serve our society as Procrustean beds.’
    • ‘I'll put my money on a different metaphor: the Pentagon making its own Procrustean bed.’
    • ‘Rescue me from my Procrustean bed, trellised behind bean futures & nuclear fallout.’
    • ‘Nor do I think it's terribly difficult to nail down these two grand natural-law religious principles to the Procrustean bed of reality dealt with by government day to day.’
    • ‘Yet the ancient paradigm of an empire was created east and west by peoples with a naively ethnocentric, Procrustean picture of the global community.’
    • ‘Do we persist in committing the Procrustean crime of fitting the facts to our opinions rather than the other way around?’
    • ‘I'll be picky till my fingers bleed if it succeeds even in splintering the boards of the Procrustean bed our culture puts most women in.’
    • ‘The state became an instrument for the promotion of Hindutva, and the obdurate nation was sought to be trimmed, in Procrustean fashion, to disenfranchise those who did not subscribe to such a conception of culture.’
    • ‘Not so very different, after all, from the fundamentalists back home who are forever devising Procrustean means to arrive at unitary cultural identities.’
    • ‘Couto's book originates in the need to explain an identity that eludes the Procrustean dogmas of language, region, even religion.’
    • ‘Hers is a Procrustean mode of inquiry, cutting and pasting together disparate groups into a narrative that has no rough edges, no loose threads, no alternate outcomes.’
    • ‘The second reason is that the majority opinion is Procrustean; it articulates rationales just broad enough to cover this case.’
    • ‘In fact, those very establishments and many more like them make up the enormous retail Procrustean bed we are so often made to lie in when we set out in search of food, clothing, equipment, diversion or just about anything.’
    • ‘The underdeveloped concept of the international system has acted as a Procrustean straitjacket on the discipline.’
    • ‘Our field will advance through research dynamism and not through a Procrustean application of inappropriate research paradigms.’
    • ‘On a ‘minimalist’ strategy this would mean either not responding to such requests, or forcing the police response into a Procrustean bed of legalism untempered by discretion.’
    • ‘The costumes, in other words, act as Procrustean beds, amputating those pesky limbs of anthropological knowledge that flop outside their predetermined grids.’
    • ‘Since the tale impinges on the whole town, including the birth and education of the three Harelik children born there, a cast of four (two Perrys and two Hareliks) seems unduly Procrustean.’
    • ‘To his credit, Coleman avoids the Procrustean trap of trying to fit writers into his paradigm while overlooking their shortcomings in reconstructing black literary masculinity.’
    • ‘Instead, then, more or less Procrustean attempts continue to fit a work like Finnegans Wake into traditionally recognized parameters for marketing and interpretation.’


Mid 19th century: from the name Procrustes + -an.