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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
Esemplastic was coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his seminal work of literary criticism, Biographia Literaria, published in 1817.