[ hahy-er-uh-fant, hahy-ruh-, hahy-er-uh- ]
/ ˈhaɪ ər əˌfænt, ˈhaɪ rə-, haɪˈɛr ə- /


(in ancient Greece) an official expounder of rites of worship and sacrifice.
any interpreter of sacred mysteries or esoteric principles; mystagogue.

Origin of hierophant

1670–80; < Late Latin hierophanta < Greek hierophántēs, equivalent to hiero- hiero- + -phántēs, derivative of phaínein to show, make known

Related forms

hi·er·o·phan·tic, adjectivehi·er·o·phan·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hierophantic

  • Abundant information is also supplied on this subject by that hierophantic naturalist, Aldrovandus, de Quadrup.

  • Peace of the druid priests of Cymbeline: hierophantic: from wide earth an altar.

    Ulysses|James Joyce
  • Few of my readers would understand these hierophantic words, were I to leave them unexplained.

    What is Property?|P. J. Proudhon

British Dictionary definitions for hierophantic


/ (ˈhaɪərəˌfænt) /


(in ancient Greece) an official high priest of religious mysteries, esp those of Eleusis
a person who interprets and explains esoteric mysteries

Derived Forms

hierophantic, adjectivehierophantically, adverb

Word Origin for hierophant

C17: from Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs, from hiero- + phainein to reveal
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