[pahr-nas-uh s]
  1. Mount. Modern name Liakoura. a mountain in central Greece, N of the Gulf of Corinth and near Delphi. About 8000 feet (2440 meters).
  2. a collection of poems or of elegant literature.
  3. the world of poetry or poets collectively: a rhymester striving to enter Parnassus.
  4. any center of poetry or artistic activity: Greenwich Village was once the Parnassus of the U.S. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for parnassus

Contemporary Examples of parnassus

  • What do you look for in a great bookstore, and what is the future of independent bookstores, like your Parnassus Books?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Ann Patchett: How I Write

    Noah Charney

    October 30, 2013

  • Lower down the slopes of Parnassus, even Shakespeare published anonymously.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Real Story of "O"

    Robert McCrum

    January 23, 2011

Historical Examples of parnassus

British Dictionary definitions for parnassus


  1. Mount Parnassus a mountain in central Greece, in NW Boeotia: in ancient times sacred to Dionysus, Apollo, and the Muses, with the Castalian Spring and Delphi on its slopes. Height: 2457 m (8061 ft)Modern Greek names: Parnassós (ˌparnaˈsɔs), Liákoura
    1. the world of poetry
    2. a centre of poetic or other creative activity
  2. a collection of verse or belles-lettres
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 parnassus



late 14c., from Latin, from Greek Parnassos, mountain in central Greece, sacred to Apollo and the Muses, thus symbolic of poetry. Room writes that the name is from Hittite parna "abode." Related: Parnassian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

parnassus in Culture



A mountain in Greece. According to classical mythology, it was one of the mountains where the Muses lived. The Delphic oracle was on one of its slopes.


Parnassus is known as the mythological home of poetry and music.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.