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[thoh-nee-uh n]
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adjective Classical Mythology.
  1. of or relating to the deities, spirits, and other beings dwelling under the earth.
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Also chthon·ic [thon-ik] /ˈθɒn ɪk/.

Origin of chthonian

1840–50; < Greek chthóni(os) (chthon-, stem of chthṓn earth + -ios adj. suffix) + -an; akin to Latin humus earth (see humus)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chthonian

Historical Examples

  • It must be strange to die, surrounded by jackals at their chthonian litanies.

    In Mesopotamia

    Martin Swayne

  • The Chthonian deities form a counterpart to the dwellers on Olympus.

  • A man who divorced his wife was to make an offering to the Chthonian gods.

  • As a chthonian power, she is worshipped at the Samothracian mysteries, and is closely connected with Demeter.

British Dictionary definitions for chthonian


chthonic (ˈθɒnɪk)

  1. of or relating to the underworld
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Word Origin

C19: from Greek khthonios in or under the earth, from khthōn earth
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 chthonian


1804, from Latinized form of Greek khthonios (see chthonic) + -an.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper