Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



May 31, 2018
This week’s theme
There’s a word for it

This week’s words
metanoia
cremnophobia
ochlocracy
enantiodromia
obverse

Have your say
in our discussion forum Wordsmith Talk
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

enantiodromia

PRONUNCIATION:
(i-nan-tee-uh-DROH-mee-uh)

MEANING:
noun: The tendency of things, beliefs, etc., to change into their opposites.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek enantio- (opposite) + dromos (running). Earliest documented use: 1917.

NOTES:
You can keep going up a mountain, but once you hit the peak you can only go down. A pendulum moves in one direction, but once it has reached its rightmost it travels left. So it goes with beliefs, ideologies, and politics, apparently. Once we have elected a black man as a president, we have to pick someone with a long sordid record of discrimination.

The concept of enantiodromia is attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (c. 535-475 BCE). Later it was discussed by the psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) as “the principle which governs all cycles of natural life”.

USAGE:
“The union that Philip Murray had founded in 1936 as a way of combatting the wretched excess of management had come full circle in the cycle of enantiodromia, and had fallen victim to its own wretched excess.”
Tom O’Boyle; Excess, the Golden Rule; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Sep 4, 1994.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
This is a deluded generation, veiled in ignorance, that though popery and slavery be riding in upon them, do not perceive it; though I am sure that there was no man born marked by God above another; for none comes into this world with a saddle on his back, neither any booted and spurred to ride him. -Richard Rumbold, revolutionary (1622-1685)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith