One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in ancient Greece) a primitive wooden image of a deity.
- ‘The statues are both xoana, and they say that they were set up by the women from the Thermodon.’
- ‘With an entrance of six elegant and ornate Ionic columns and its cella, which housed the xoanon of Athena, it appears to be united to the cella of the west chamber.’
Early 18th century: from Greek; related to xein ‘carve’.
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