• synonyms


[muh-tem-suh-koh-sis, -temp-, met-uh m-sahy-]
See more synonyms for metempsychosis on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural me·tem·psy·cho·ses [muh-tem-suh-koh-seez, -temp-, met-uh m-sahy-] /məˌtɛm səˈkoʊ siz, -ˌtɛmp-, ˌmɛt əm saɪ-/.
  1. the transmigration of the soul, especially the passage of the soul after death from a human or animal to some other human or animal body.
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Origin of metempsychosis

1580–90; < Late Latin < Greek, equivalent to metempsȳchō-, variant stem of metempsȳchoûsthai to pass from one body into another (see met-, em-2, psycho-) + -sis -sis
Related formsmet·em·psy·chic [met-uh m-sahy-kik] /ˌmɛt əmˈsaɪ kɪk/, me·tem·psy·cho·sic, me·tem·psy·cho·si·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for metempsychosis

Historical Examples

  • He seems to have a leaning for metempsychosis and the doctrines of Pythagoras.

    The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The doctrine of metempsychosis is not found here, except perhaps in germ.

    History of Religion

    Allan Menzies

  • Schelling acknowledges it in his Dissertation on Metempsychosis.


    Th. Pascal

  • There is a dash of metempsychosis in it—and it is the strength of the piece.

  • Metempsychosis, 364 (see also under Re-births and Transmigrations).

British Dictionary definitions for metempsychosis


noun plural -ses (-siːz)
  1. the migration of a soul from one body to another
  2. the entering of a soul after death upon a new cycle of existence in a new body either of human or animal form
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Derived Formsmetempsychosist, noun

Word Origin

C16: via Late Latin from Greek, from metempsukhousthai, from meta- + -em- in + psukhē soul
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 metempsychosis


1580s, "passing of the soul at death into another body," from Late Latin metempsychosis, from Greek metempsychosis, from meta "change" (see meta-) + empsykhoun "to put a soul into," from en "in" + psyche "soul" (see psyche). Pythagorean word for transmigration of souls at death. Related: Metempsychose (v.), 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper