[ muh-tem-suh-koh-sis, -temp-, met-uh m-sahy- ]
/ məˌtɛm səˈkoʊ sɪs, -ˌtɛmp-, ˌmɛt əm saɪ- /

noun, plural me·tem·psy·cho·ses [muh-tem-suh-koh-seez, -temp-, met-uh m-sahy-] /məˌtɛm səˈkoʊ siz, -ˌtɛmp-, ˌmɛt əm saɪ-/.

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.

Nearby words

  1. metchnikoff, élie,
  2. mete,
  3. metecdysis,
  4. metempirical,
  5. metempirics,
  6. metencephalic,
  7. metencephalon,
  8. metenkephalin,
  9. meteor,
  10. meteor shower

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for metempsychosis

British Dictionary definitions for metempsychosis


/ (ˌmɛtəmsaɪˈkəʊsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-siːz)

the migration of a soul from one body to another
the entering of a soul after death upon a new cycle of existence in a new body either of human or animal form
Derived Formsmetempsychosist, noun

Word Origin for metempsychosis

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper