Definition of Theotokos in US English:



the Theotokos
  • Mother of God (used in the Eastern Orthodox Church as a title of the Virgin Mary)

    ‘the love poured into the Theotokos to enable her to love so fully in her turn’
    • ‘They also diminish the unique dignity of the Theotokos.’
    • ‘The latter is rightly anathema since when one recites the Rosary one approaches God through our intercessor Mary, and not Mary in isolation, hence her role as Theotokos, or the ‘God Bearer’ is central.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the doctrine was important in the East, as theologians such as John of Damascus made it central to the idea of Mary as Theotokos, or God-bearer.’
    • ‘The Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is ‘the central revelatory act of God’. Jesus is without original sin and Mary is rightly called Theotokos.’
    • ‘Increased prominence was given to Mary, shown in the Byzantine manner as Theotokos, powerful Mother of God.’
    • ‘Make an image of Christ and of his mother, the Theotokos, and let that be enough.’
    • ‘She is known as Theotokos, literally meaning Mother of God.’
    • ‘In obedience to the command of the most holy Theotokos, the evangelist wrote down this teaching about the mystery of the Holy Trinity, afterward granting it also to Gregory.’
    • ‘This drawing shows Mary not as the calm and sedate Theotokos holding the infant, as in Byzantine icons, nor as the serene and radiant young woman holding a plump and settled baby, familiar from early Renaissance paintings.’
    • ‘At the third ecumenical council in Ephesus in the year 431, there was a big controversy over whether Mary should get the title Theotokos or Christotokos.’


From ecclesiastical Greek, from theos ‘god’ + -tokos ‘bringing forth’.