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Word of the Day
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Definitions for esemplastic

  1. having the ability to shape diverse elements or concepts into a unified whole: the esemplastic power of a great mind to simplify the difficult.

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Citations for esemplastic
"Esemplastic. The word is not in Johnson, nor have I met with it elsewhere." Neither have I! I constructed it myself from the Greek words eis en plattein, i.e. to shape into one; because, having to convey a new sense, I though that a new term would both aid the recollection of my meaning, and prevent its being confounded with the usual import of the word, imagination. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, 1817
… the ability to make huge leaps between seemingly incongruous images and to synthesize them--what psychologists call loose associations and Coleridge called "the esemplastic gift"--and the ability to become obsessed and to stay obsessed and to pull all perceptions into a whole though the lens of that obsession. Susan Neville, Sailing the Inland Sea, 2007
Origin of esemplastic
1810-1820
Esemplastic was coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his seminal work of literary criticism, Biographia Literaria, published in 1817.