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syncretism

[sing-kri-tiz-uh m, sin-]
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noun
  1. the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
  2. Grammar. the merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one, as, in nonstandard English, the use of was with both singular and plural subjects, while in standard English was is used with singular subjects (except for you in the second person singular) and were with plural subjects.

Origin of syncretism

1610–20; < New Latin syncretismus < Greek synkrētismós union of Cretans, i.e., a united front of two opposing parties against a common foe, derivative of synkrēt(ízein) to syncretize + -ismos -ism
Related formssyn·cret·ic [sin-kret-ik] /sɪnˈkrɛt ɪk/, syn·cret·i·cal, syn·cre·tis·tic [sing-kri-tis-tik, sin-] /ˌsɪŋ krɪˈtɪs tɪk, ˌsɪn-/, adjectivesyn·cre·tist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for syncretism

Historical Examples

  • Then syncretism began, and a body of sectarian notions was formed.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • Even the possibility of achieving some form of syncretism is not new by any means.

  • In these tales and legends we have syncretism in full swing.

  • And it is here especially that we notice the syncretism which is peculiar to him.

    What is Property?

    P. J. Proudhon

  • There appears to be a very early example of syncretism in p. 49Australia.


British Dictionary definitions for syncretism

syncretism

noun
  1. the tendency to syncretize
  2. the historical tendency of languages to reduce their use of inflection, as in the development of Old English with all its case endings into Modern English
Derived Formssyncretic (sɪŋˈkrɛtɪk) or syncretistic, adjectivesyncretist, noun

Word Origin

C17: from New Latin syncrētismus, from Greek sunkrētismos alliance of Cretans, from sunkrētizein to join forces (in the manner of the Cretan towns), from syn- + Krēs a Cretan
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

Word Origin and History for syncretism

n.

"reconciliation of different beliefs," 1610s, from Modern Latin syncretismus (David Pareus, 1615), from Greek synkretismos "union of communities," from synkretizein "to combine against a common enemy," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + second element of uncertain origin. One theory connects it with kretismos "lying," from kretizein "to lie like a Cretan;" another connects it with the stem of kerannynai "to mix, blend;" krasis "mixture."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper