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[thoh-nee-uh n] /ˈθoʊ ni ən/
adjective, Classical Mythology
of or relating to the deities, spirits, and other beings dwelling under the earth.
Also, chthonic
[thon-ik] /ˈθɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA)
Origin of chthonian
1840-50; < Greek chthóni(os) (chthon-, stem of chthṓn earth + -ios adj. suffix) + -an; akin to Latin humus earth (see humus) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chthonic
  • All these elements betoken the rites owed to a chthonic deity.
British Dictionary definitions for chthonic


of or relating to the underworld
Word Origin
C19: from Greek khthonios in or under the earth, from khthōn earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for chthonic

1882, with suffix -ic, from Greek khthonios "of the earth, in the earth," from khthon "the earth, solid surface of the earth" (mostly poetic) from PIE root *dhghem- (cf. Greek khamai "on the ground," first element in chameleon; also Latin humus "earth, soil," humilis "low;" Lithuanian žeme, Old Church Slavonic zemlja "earth;" Sanskrit ksam- "earth" (opposed to "sky"); Old Irish du, genitive don "place," earlier "earth").



1804, from Latinized form of Greek khthonios (see chthonic) + -an.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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