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hierophant

[hahy-er-uh-fant, hahy-ruh-, hahy-er-uh-] /ˈhaɪ ər əˌfænt, ˈhaɪ rə-, haɪˈɛr ə-/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greece) an official expounder of rites of worship and sacrifice.
2.
any interpreter of sacred mysteries or esoteric principles; mystagogue.
Origin
1670-1680
1670-80; < Late Latin hierophanta < Greek hierophántēs, equivalent to hiero- hiero- + -phántēs, derivative of phaínein to show, make known
Related forms
hierophantic, adjective
hierophantically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hierophant
  • He keeps his secrets too closely to afford much aid to the hierophant.
British Dictionary definitions for hierophant

hierophant

/ˈhaɪərəˌfænt/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greece) an official high priest of religious mysteries, esp those of Eleusis
2.
a person who interprets and explains esoteric mysteries
Derived Forms
hierophantic, adjective
hierophantically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs, from hiero- + phainein to reveal
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 hierophant
n.

"expounder of sacred mysteries," 1670s, from Late Latin hierophantes, from Greek hierophantes "one who teaches the rites of sacrifice and worship," literally "one who shows sacred things," from hieros "sacred" (see ire) + phainein "to reveal, bring to light" (see phantasm). In modern use, "expounder of esoteric doctrines," from 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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