Word of the Day

Wednesday, August 16, 2000


\meg-uh-lo-MAY-nee-ah; -nyuh\ , noun;
A mania for grandiose or extravagant things or actions.
A mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur.
Eighteen months generally elapse nowadays between the time a publisher accepts a manuscript and its appearance in book form -- the gestation period of an elephant. During that year and a half of waiting, a writer is visited by every emotion in the fun house, from rosy anticipation to exultation, megalomania, brooding, dread, cringing humility, avarice, guilt and, finally, stolid acceptance.
-- Phillip Lopate, "Waiting for the Book: Storms Before the Calm", New York Times, May 24, 1987
He too often allows us to laugh off notions that science might occasionally be the handmaiden of megalomania, greed, and sadism.
-- David J. Skal, Screams of Reason: Mad Science and Modern Culture
Mao was a man of considerable charisma and megalomania.
-- Seth Faison, "Deng Xiaoping, Architect of Modern China, Dies at 92", New York Times, February 20, 1997
Megalomania is an occupational hazard for judges, said Prof. Paul Carrington of the Duke University Law School, noting that a trial judge inevitably has a great deal of power over everyone in the courtroom. "Judges can get awfully full of themselves," he said.
-- Neil A. Lewis, "You're Out of Order, Your Honor", New York Times, July 12, 1998
Megalomania is Scientific Latin, from the Greek elements megal-, great + mania, madness.
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