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Word of the Day
Monday, May 08, 2017

Definitions for hypostatize

  1. to treat or regard (a concept, idea, etc.) as a distinct substance or reality.

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Citations for hypostatize
Long ago the philosophers warned us against hypostatizing verbal categories, such as the category of "government" or "the State." When you hypostatize you endow a concept with a life that it does not actually possess. John Chamberlain, "Some First Principles," New York Times, August 4, 1946
Like any orthodox moralist Golding insists that Man is a fallen creature, but he refuses to hypostatize Evil and locate it in a dimension of its own. John Peter, "The Fables of William Golding," Kenyon Review, Autumn 1957
Origin of hypostatize
The verb hypostatize is the later form, first recorded in 1829, of hypostasize, which was first used in 1809 by the English poet and literary critic, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). Both forms of the verb derive from the Greek noun hypóstasis “sediment (in urine), substance, nature, existence, reality.” The Greek elements hypo- and stásis translate literally into Latin as sub- and -stantia “substance,” which caused endless confusion and controversy among Christian theologians of the 4th and 5th centuries.
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