- an ancient Greek personification of death.
- Psychoanalysis. (usually lowercase) the death instinct, especially as expressed in violent aggression.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for thanatos
But there is one reason more, which I have reserved for the last: Thanatos summons me.Quo Vadis
At noon she awoke, crying aloud that the Red Mouse claimed her soul from Thanatos.
The Greeks had imagined Thanatos 14 as a winged genius; that was correct.Hania
The wind blew the flame of the lamp into darkness; the moon still shone through the storm on to the face of Thanatos.
When she arose, at length, she met the eyes of Hypnos and Oneiros and Thanatos—the gentle gods who give forgetfulness to men.
- the Greek personification of death: son of Nyx, goddess of nightRoman counterpart: Mors
- the name chosen by Freud to represent a universal death instinctCompare Eros (def. 2)
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 thanatos
"death instinct," 1935, in Freudian psychology, from Greek thanatos (see thanatology).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- death instinct
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.