• synonyms


[pahr-nas-ee-uh n]
  1. pertaining to Mount Parnassus.
  2. pertaining to poetry.
  3. of, relating to, or noting a school of French poets of the latter half of the 19th century, characterized chiefly by a belief in art for art's sake, by an emphasis on metrical form, and by the repression of emotive elements: so called from Le Parnasse Contemporain, the title of their first collection of poems, published in 1866.
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  1. a member of the Parnassian school of French poets.
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Origin of Parnassian

1635–45; < Latin Parnassi(us) of Parnassus + -an
Related formsPar·nas·si·an·ism, Par·nas·sism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for parnassian

Historical Examples

  • But his fiction leaves me cold, as Parnassian poetry did others, but not me.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2

    George Saintsbury

  • Barrs imbibed from the Parnassian poetic group his artistic remoteness.


    James Huneker

  • It is a Parnassian Samain, but always personal, even in grandiloquence.

    The Book of Masks

    Remy de Gourmont

  • I did an injustice to Parnassian in my answer to him last week.

  • In his first two books he had been a realist and a Parnassian.

British Dictionary definitions for parnassian


  1. of or relating to Mount Parnassus or poetry
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  1. one of a school of French poets of the late 19th century who wrote verse that emphasized metrical form and restricted emotion
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  1. of or relating to the Parnassians or their poetry
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Derived FormsParnassianism or Parnassism, noun

Word Origin

C19: from French parnassien, from Parnasse Parnassus; from Le Parnasse contemporain, title of an anthology produced by these poets
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