One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural eidola, Plural eidolonsliterary
1An idealized person or thing.
- ‘The subjectification of the beloved in Petrarchan lyric entails the internalization of a feminine image, an eidolon rather than an objectively real presence.’
2A specter or phantom.
spectre, phantom, wraith, spirit, soul, shadow, presenceView synonyms
- ‘Plotinus, however, described the body itself as an eidolon - a simulacrum or phantom - of the soul: for him, the physical body was less real than the soul, and the soul in turn less real than divine Being.’
- ‘The ancients called these human shadows, shades; modern children and nursemaids call them ghosts and spooks; and each such shade is but an eidolon.’
- ‘This was a false assumption; Jone was well-versed in the holy scriptures, and it was whispered that he had the ability to conjure up eidolons and spirits.’
Early 19th century: from Greek eidōlon, from eidos ‘form’.
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