a view or contemplation of death.
(initial capital letter, italics) a poem (1817) by William Cullen Bryant.

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

Examples from the Web for thanatopsis

Historical Examples of thanatopsis

  • Do you think any city lad could have written "Thanatopsis" at eighteen?

    Being a Boy

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • And from Bryant the concluding familiar lines of Thanatopsis.

  • The importance of "Thanatopsis" is at once literary and historical.

  • He thought of "Thanatopsis," and of the "Elegy," both of which he admired greatly.

    The "Genius"

    Theodore Dreiser

  • When she attended her second meeting of the Thanatopsis she said nothing about remaking the town.

    Main Street

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for thanatopsis



a meditation on death, as in a poem

Word Origin for thanatopsis

C19: from Greek thanatos death + opsis a view
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