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Word of the Day
Saturday, March 04, 2017

Definitions for lotus-eater

  1. a person who leads a life of dreamy, indolent ease, indifferent to the busy world; daydreamer.
  2. Classical Mythology. a member of a people whom Odysseus found existing in a state of languorous forgetfulness induced by their eating of the fruit of the legendary lotus; one of the lotophagi.

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Citations for lotus-eater
Octavia passed the days in a kind of lotus-eater's dream. Books, hammocks, correspondence with a few intimate friends, a renewed interest in her old water-color box and easel--these disposed of the sultry hours of daylight. O. Henry, "Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches," Whirligigs, 1910
The mood of transcendent ease made me feel as blissful as a lotus-eater, as though I were experiencing a slow afternoon in eternity. Lawrence Millman, "Yap Magic," Islands, May–June 1999
Origin of lotus-eater
In book 9 of the Odyssey, Odysseus tells the story of being blown off course for nine days as he was rounding Cape Malea (the southern tip of the Peloponnesus) westward toward Ithaca, his home island. On the tenth day Odysseus and his companions landed on an unnamed island that the Greek historian Herodotus (5th century b.c.) located on the Libyan coast. The Greek historian Polybius (2nd century b.c.) specifically identified the island as Meninx (now Djerba) off the Tunisian coast. The Greek noun lōtós “lotus” in ancient times referred to several different herbs, plants, shrubs, and trees. One of these, the shrub Ziziphus lotus, is often thought to be the lotus of the Odyssey. Lotus-eater entered English in the 17th century.