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[proh-kruhs-tee-uh n] /proʊˈkrʌs ti ən/
pertaining to or suggestive of Procrustes.
(often lowercase) tending to produce conformity by violent or arbitrary means.
Origin of Procrustean
First recorded in 1840-50; Procruste(s) + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Procrustean
Historical Examples
  • It is revealed as the Procrustean bed which cramps us up until we ache inside.

    Nonsenseorship G. G. Putnam and Others
  • Freethought has no Procrustean bed upon which it may bring all of its constituency to one and the same size.

  • It forced violin playing into a Procrustean bed unsuited to its true nature and mission.

    Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work Stephen Samuel Stratton
  • Too late to catch the Folkestone packet, his bed is in Boulogne—no bed of roses, but a couch of Procrustean.

    Gwen Wynn Mayne Reid
  • Iron-bound, impersonal ethics, the Procrustean bed of rules, he soon saw at their true value as the deification of averages.

    Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin Robert Louis Stevenson
  • They are too often broken outright on the Procrustean bed; they are probably always disfigured.

    Familiar Studies of Men and Books Robert Louis Stevenson
  • My purposes, my views, my beliefs were the Procrustean bed upon which every act of hers was measured.

  • Manacled, bound down by the fiery bands of his malady, he writhed, as upon a Procrustean bed.

    Alone Marion Harland
  • On its Procrustean bed the stunted members of the race are racked; the giants are cut down.

    The Joyful Heart Robert Haven Schauffler
  • But they had no right to tyrannise over others, and tie them down to their own Procrustean bed.

    Mary Barton

    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
British Dictionary definitions for Procrustean


tending or designed to produce conformity by violent or ruthless methods
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 Procrustean

1846 in figurative sense, "violently making conformable to standard," from Procrustes, mythical robber of Attica who seized travelers, tied them to his bed, and either stretched their limbs or lopped of their legs to make them fit it. The name is Greek Prokroustes "one who stretches," from prokrouein "to beat out, stretch out," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + krouein "to strike."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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