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[thoh-nee-uh n] /ˈθoʊ ni ən/
adjective, Classical Mythology.
of or relating to the deities, spirits, and other beings dwelling under the earth.
Also, chthonic
[thon-ik] /ˈθɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA)
Origin of chthonian
1840-50; < Greek chthóni(os) (chthon-, stem of chthṓn earth + -ios adj. suffix) + -an; akin to Latin humus earth (see humus) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chthonic
Historical Examples
  • She was also "a queen over death and the dead," a chthonic characteristic.

    The World of Homer

    Andrew Lang
  • In Classical Greece chthonic worship and hero worship seem on the whole to be more prominent than that of the gods.

    The Heroic Age H. Munro Chadwick
British Dictionary definitions for chthonic


of or relating to the underworld
Word Origin
C19: from Greek khthonios in or under the earth, from khthōn earth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chthonic

1882, with suffix -ic, from Greek khthonios "of the earth, in the earth," from khthon "the earth, solid surface of the earth" (mostly poetic) from PIE root *dhghem- (cf. Greek khamai "on the ground," first element in chameleon; also Latin humus "earth, soil," humilis "low;" Lithuanian žeme, Old Church Slavonic zemlja "earth;" Sanskrit ksam- "earth" (opposed to "sky"); Old Irish du, genitive don "place," earlier "earth").



1804, from Latinized form of Greek khthonios (see chthonic) + -an.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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