Word of the Day Archive
Sunday October 30, 2011
1. A view or contemplation of death.
2. A poem (1817) by William Cullen Bryant.
Once upon a time not too long ago I was married to a young woman whose every waking moment was underlain by a preoccupation with thanatopsis.
-- Harlan Ellison, Edgeworks
Yet, having heard Khideo's playful thanatopsis—he meant it to be playful—Ilihi looked at him with strange concern. “You sound as if you long for death, but I know it's not true.” said Ilihi.
-- Orson Scott Card, Earthborn
Thanatopsis was first used in English by poet William Cullen Bryant in his 1817 poem. The word literally comes from the Greek thanato- meaning death and -opsis meaning likeness or idea.