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[hahy-pos-tuh-sis, hi-] /haɪˈpɒs tə sɪs, hɪ-/
noun, plural hypostases
[hahy-pos-tuh-seez, hi-] /haɪˈpɒs təˌsiz, hɪ-/ (Show IPA)
  1. something that stands under and supports; foundation.
  2. the underlying or essential part of anything as distinguished from attributes; substance, essence, or essential principle.
  1. one of the three real and distinct substances in the one undivided substance or essence of God.
  2. a person of the Trinity.
  3. the one personality of Christ in which His two natures, human and divine, are united.
  1. the accumulation of blood or its solid components in parts of an organ or body due to poor circulation.
  2. such sedimentation, as in a test tube.
Origin of hypostasis
1580-90; < Late Latin < Greek hypóstasis that which settles at the bottom; substance, nature, essence, equivalent to hypo- hypo- + stásis standing, stasis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hypostasis
Historical Examples
  • Wisdom seems to be regarded as an "hypostasis," a figure in some sort distinct from God.

    The Origin of Paul's Religion J. Gresham Machen
  • This then he did by adding as third hypostasis the Aristotelian dynamic energy.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • Plotinus' idea of hypostasis is also important, and this notion requires exact examination.

  • First principle has no thought, the first actualization of a hypostasis, vi.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • No, because all communities have at least three, in honour of the holy and triple hypostasis.

    L-bas J. K. Huysmans
  • hypostasis the first actualization of first principle has no thought, vi.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4 Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • He has, therefore, no hypostasis of himself but only in and through the Logos.

  • The consequences of a hypostasis of the good are no less interesting than its causes.

    Winds Of Doctrine George Santayana
  • This involved, of course, its hypostasis as the metaphysical reality of supreme importance.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • Thus Athanasius and the Latins spoke of one hypostasis (essence) only.

    The Arian Controversy H. M. Gwatkin
British Dictionary definitions for hypostasis


noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz)
(metaphysics) the essential nature of a substance as opposed to its attributes
  1. any of the three persons of the Godhead, together constituting the Trinity
  2. the one person of Christ in which the divine and human natures are united
the accumulation of blood in an organ or part, under the influence of gravity as the result of poor circulation
another name for epistasis (sense 3)
Derived Forms
hypostatic (ˌhaɪpəˈstætɪk), hypostatical, adjective
hypostatically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin: substance, from Greek hupostasis foundation, from huphistasthai to stand under, from hypo- + histanai to cause to stand
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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hypostasis in Medicine

hypostasis hy·pos·ta·sis (hī-pŏs'tə-sĭs)
n. pl. hy·pos·ta·ses (-sēz')

  1. A settling of solid particles in a fluid.

  2. Sediment.

  3. See hypostatic congestion.

  4. A condition in which the action of one gene conceals or suppresses the action of another gene that is not its allele but that affects the same part or biochemical process in an organism.

hy'po·stat'ic (hī'pə-stāt'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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