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[tel-ik, tee-lik] /ˈtɛl ɪk, ˈti lɪk/
Grammar. expressing end or purpose:
a telic conjunction.
tending to a definite end.
Origin of telic
First recorded in 1840-50, telic is from the Greek word telikós pertaining to an end or cause. See tel-2, -ic
Related forms
telically, adverb
nontelic, adjective
untelic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for telic
Historical Examples
  • telic character or purposiveness and fixity are like oil and water.

    The Will to Doubt Alfred H. Lloyd
  • Hence the supernatural and telic forces, to which the scientist had had recourse, have been rendered superfluous.

  • Purposive progress rather than unconscious, telic rather than genetic, is the order of the evolution of society.

    Society Henry Kalloch Rowe
  • Certain families may definitely determine to modify their habits, and within a few years accomplish a telic change.

    Society Henry Kalloch Rowe
  • He has learned the futility of telic endeavor, and knows the delight of drifting along with the whimsicalities of Chance.

    The Road

    Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for telic


directed or moving towards some goal; purposeful
(of a clause or phrase) expressing purpose
Word Origin
C19: from Greek telikos final, from telos end
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 telic

1846, from Greek telikos "final," from telos (see tele-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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