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Aug 20, 2013
This week's theme
Baddies from fiction

This week's words
bluebeard
procrustes
siren
gorgon
Dr. Strangelove

Theseus slaying Procrustes
Theseus slaying Procrustes
Photo: Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Procrustes

PRONUNCIATION:
(pro-KRUS-teez)

MEANING:
noun: A person imposing conformity without concern for individuality.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Procrustes, a giant in Greek mythology, who stretched or cut his victims to make them fit his bed. He was killed by Theseus. From Greek Procroustes (stretcher). The word is more often used in its adjective form procrustean. Earliest documented use: 1581.

USAGE:
"But is not almost every man a Procrustes? We have not the power of showing our cruelty exactly in the same method, but actuated by the like spirit, we abridge of their liberty, and torment by scorn, all who either fall short, or exceed the usual standard."
Sarah Scott; Millennium Hall; Broadview Press; 1995.

See more usage examples of Procrustes in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

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