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[hur-met-ik] /hɜrˈmɛt ɪk/
made airtight by fusion or sealing.
not affected by outward influence or power; isolated.
(sometimes initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of occult science, especially alchemy.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to Hermes Trismegistus or the writings ascribed to him.
Also, hermetical.
Origin of hermetic
1630-40; < Medieval Latin hermēticus of, pertaining to Hermes Trismegistus, equivalent to Latin Hermē(s) Hermes + -ticus -tic
Related forms
unhermetic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hermetic
  • hermetic storage bags are commercially available that when sealed are impervious to gas exchange.
  • For a country that prides itself on its hermetic seal, it has played a pretty impressive game for the past eight years.
  • The bureaucracy is both hermetic and insular, slow-moving in its bulk, at times heavy-handed in its armour.
  • Protecting neighborhoods does not require hermetic seals but support by the population.
  • The thruster was also sealed into a hermetic enclosure to eliminate buoyancy effects of the cooling air.
  • The hermetic critical vocabulary of formalist art criticism is being dusted off and applied to the medium.
  • He engaged in hermetic semaphoric gesturing with his arms and stepped from a chair as if into a void.
  • The poems he brought back are filled with ancient wonder and strangeness, hermetic wisdom, a dizzying sense of the sacred.
  • Colleges cannot and should not provide a hermetic environment for students.
  • Its images and emotions are memorable and vivid, but its intentions often feel stubbornly hermetic.
British Dictionary definitions for hermetic


sealed so as to be airtight
hidden or protected from the outside world
Derived Forms
hermetically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin hermēticus belonging to Hermes Trismegistus, traditionally the inventor of a magic seal


of or relating to Hermes Trismegistus or the writings and teachings ascribed to him
of or relating to ancient science, esp alchemy
esoteric or recondite
Word Origin
see hermetic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hermetic

c.1600 (implied in hermetically), "completely sealed," also (1630s) "dealing with occult science or alchemy," from Latin hermeticus, from Greek Hermes, god of science and art, among other things, identified by Neoplatonists, mystics, and alchemists with the Egyptian god Thoth as Hermes Trismegistos "Thrice-Great Hermes," who supposedly invented the process of making a glass tube airtight (a process in alchemy) using a secret seal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hermetic in Medicine

hermetic her·met·ic (hər-mět'ĭk) or her·met·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)
Completely sealed, especially against the escape or entry of air.

her·met'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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