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[muh-tem-suh-koh-sis, -temp-, met-uh m-sahy-] /məˌtɛm səˈkoʊ sɪs, -ˌtɛmp-, ˌmɛt əm saɪ-/
noun, plural metempsychoses
[muh-tem-suh-koh-seez, -temp-, met-uh m-sahy-] /məˌtɛm səˈkoʊ siz, -ˌtɛmp-, ˌmɛt əm saɪ-/ (Show IPA)
the transmigration of the soul, especially the passage of the soul after death from a human or animal to some other human or animal body.
Origin of metempsychosis
1580-90; < Late Latin < Greek, equivalent to metempsȳchō-, variant stem of metempsȳchoûsthai to pass from one body into another (see met-, em-2, psycho-) + -sis -sis
Related forms
[met-uh m-sahy-kik] /ˌmɛt əmˈsaɪ kɪk/ (Show IPA),
metempsychosic, metempsychosical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for metempsychosis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
the migration of a soul from one body to another
the entering of a soul after death upon a new cycle of existence in a new body either of human or animal form
Derived Forms
metempsychosist, noun
Word Origin
C16: via Late Latin from Greek, from metempsukhousthai, from meta- + -em- in + psukhē soul
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 metempsychosis

1580s, "passing of the soul at death into another body," from Late Latin metempsychosis, from Greek metempsychosis, from meta "change" (see meta-) + empsykhoun "to put a soul into," from en "in" + psyche "soul" (see psyche). Pythagorean word for transmigration of souls at death. Related: Metempsychose (v.), 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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