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[pluh-ton-ik, pley-] /pləˈtɒn ɪk, pleɪ-/
of, relating to, or characteristic of Plato or his doctrines:
the Platonic philosophy of ideal forms.
pertaining to, involving, or characterized by Platonic love as a striving toward love of spiritual or ideal beauty.
(usually lowercase) purely spiritual; free from sensual desire, especially in a relationship between two persons of the opposite sex.
(usually lowercase) feeling or professing platonic love:
He insisted that he was completely platonic in his admiration.
Origin of Platonic
1525-35; < Latin Platōnicus < Greek Platōnikós, equivalent to Platōn-, stem of Plátōn Plato + -ikos, -ic
Related forms
Platonically, adverb
anti-Platonic, adjective
anti-Platonically, adverb
post-Platonic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Platonic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His philosophy was Platonic, or rather the bent of his mind was Platonic.

  • The Menexenus has more the character of a rhetorical exercise than any other of the Platonic works.

    Menexenus Plato
  • There is a twofold difficulty in apprehending this aspect of the Platonic writings.

    Phaedrus Plato
  • And there he would sing to Dulcinea, his Platonic and only love.

    The Story of Don Quixote

    Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • The style and plan of the Timaeus differ greatly from that of any other of the Platonic dialogues.

    Timaeus Plato
British Dictionary definitions for Platonic


of or relating to Plato or his teachings
(often not capital) free from physical desire: Platonic love
Derived Forms
Platonically, adverb
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 Platonic

1530s, "of or pertaining to Greek philosopher Plato" (429 B.C.E.-c.347 B.C.E.), from Latin Platonicus, from Greek Platonikos. The name is Greek Platon, properly "broad-shouldered" (from platys "broad;" see plaice (n.)). His original name was Aristocles. The meaning "love free of sensual desire" (1630s), which the word usually carries nowadays, is a Renaissance notion; it is based on Plato's writings in "Symposium" about the kind of interest Socrates took in young men, which originally had no reference to women. Related: Platonically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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