Word of the Day

Wednesday, July 23, 2003


\sin-KRET-ik; sing-\ , adjective;
Uniting and blending together different systems, as of philosophy, morals, or religion.
Trinidad Carnival is a syncretic popular form, drawing on Christian tradition and pagan ritual, fused in the vortex of plantation society.
-- Stuart Hall, "Calypso kings", The Guardian, June 28, 2002
In Cuba, the dominant religion is Santeria, a syncretic mix of Roman Catholicism and Yoruba deities.
-- Steve Fainaru and Ray Sanchez, "Free agent", Boston Globe Magazine, July 15, 2003
Compared to the syncretic, polytheistic empires of the past, the 'doctrinal rigidity' of Judaic monotheism could be a source of both solidarity and division.
-- Dominic Lieven, Empire: The Russian Empire and Its Rivals
In the hands of the gay right, the same individualism can produce a syncretic politics that draws from across the political spectrum.
-- Richard Goldstein, "Queering the pitch", The Guardian, May 15, 2002
Indonesia is known for its moderate, syncretic, inclusive brand of Islam. People see no difficulty in worshipping Allah and sea spirits.
-- Jason Burke, "Paradise lost", The Observer, December 22, 2002
Syncretic is the adjective form of syncretism, from Greek synkretismos, "federation of Cretan cities," from sunkretizein, "to unite against a common enemy, in the manner of the Cretan cities," from syn-, "with, together" + Kres, Kret-, "Cretan."
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