Word of the Day Archive
Thursday May 17, 2012
1. The central point.
2. The navel; umbilicus.
3. Greek Antiquity. A stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, thought to mark the center of the earth.
To that incurable romantic the Trenton hovel was omphalos, the hub of existence, the center of mass.
-- Ellen Queen, Halfway House
Yes; but if not of the earth, for earth's tenant Jerusalem was the omphalos of mortality.
-- Thomas De Quincey, Suspiria de Profundies
From Greek, omphalos did not enter English until the 1850s when Thomas De Quincey used it in his work Suspiria de Profundis. It literally meant "navel."