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Word of the Day
Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Definitions for entelechy

  1. a realization or actuality as opposed to a potentiality.
  2. (in vitalist philosophy) a vital agent or force directing growth and life.

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Citations for entelechy
Something abstruse from Aristotle haunts him, a distinction between the "generally" understood version of entelechy, meaning one's potential, and Aristotle's version, shading over into potential fulfilled. Paul West, A Fifth of November, 2001
Other girls might aspire to diamond rings or posts in student government; our mission was to locate Truth on whatever library shelf it might be found. And to see, as some home to see God, entelechy: essence unfurling itself in the passage from potential to actual reality. Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Disturbances in the Field, 1983
Origin of entelechy
Entelechy is a term from Aristotelian philosophy and is formed from the Greek terms télos, "goal," and échein, "to have." It entered English around 1600.