- an ecstasy supposed by the ancients to be inspired by nymphs.
- a frenzy of emotion, as for something unattainable.
Origin of nympholepsy
Examples from the Web for nympholepsy
Through solitude this passion may be exalted into a frenzy like a nympholepsy.The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols)
Thomas De Quincey
The most common disease to genius is nympholepsy—the saddening for a spirit that the world knows not.Godolphin, Complete
But he was busy with his new story, in the throes of nympholepsy, seeing visions, hearing voices.
When the show was over he abandoned Miss Clampett on her door-step and went to his own boarding-house in a nympholepsy.
Nympholepsy is no more a Greek word than epilepsy, and nobody would or could object to epilepsy or apoplexy as a Greek word.The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- a state of violent emotion, esp when associated with a desire for something one cannot have
Word Origin and History for nympholepsy
"frenzy or rapture supposed to take hold of a man upon gazing on a nymph," 1775, coined by Richard Chandler, in "Travels in Greece," from nymph, on model of epilepsy, with second element from stem of Greek lambanein "to take." Especially "an ecstasy or frenzy caused by desire for the unattainable." Ancient Greek had nympholeptos "caught by nymphs." Related: Nympholept; nympholeptic.