• synonyms


  1. intended to ward off evil.
Show More

Origin of apotropaic

1880–85; < Greek apotrópai(os) averting evil (see apo-, trope) + -ic
Related formsap·o·tro·pa·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for apotropaic

Historical Examples

  • But the term "apotropaic" is generally used of expulsive ceremonies in which a whole community takes part.

    Introduction to the History of Religions

    Crawford Howell Toy

British Dictionary definitions for apotropaic


  1. preventing or intended to prevent evil
Show More

Word Origin

C19: from Greek apotropaios turning away (evil), from apotrepein; see apo-, trope
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 apotropaic


1883, with -ic + Greek apotropaios "averting evil," from apotrepein "to turn away, avert," from apo- "off, away" (see apo-) + trepein "to turn" (see trope).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper