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Word of the Day
Monday, August 14, 2017

Definitions for iconoclastic

  1. attacking or ignoring cherished beliefs and long-held traditions, etc., as being based on error, superstition, or lack of creativity: an iconoclastic architect whose buildings are like monumental sculptures.
  2. breaking or destroying images, especially those set up for religious veneration.

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Citations for iconoclastic
Seeing saucepans and kitchens as objects worthy of artistic notice was more in line with the iconoclastic manifestos of fellow modernist--but female--writer Virginia Woolf. Marta Dvořak, "Introduction," Thanks for Listening: Stories and Short Fictions by Ernest Buckler, 2004
Sometime around 1920, the German composer Stefan Wolpe, then eighteen years old, organized a Dada provocation in Berlin, in which he set up eight Victrolas on a stage, placed on each of them a recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, and had a team of confederates play the records at different speeds. ... The event was typical of the iconoclastic spirit of Dada in the years after the First World War. Alex Ross, "Beethoven Dada," The New Yorker, April 1, 2013
Origin of iconoclastic
Iconoclastic is an adjective derived from the nouns iconoclasm “image smashing” and iconoclast “image smasher.” The Greek noun eikṓn means “image, likeness,” whether a painting or a statue; -clast and -clastic- derive from the Greek adjective klastós “broken in pieces.” The most famous instance of iconoclasm began under the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian (c680–741). It lasted from about 726 to 787 and was partly based on the injunction against graven images in the Hebrew Bible (the second of the Ten Commandments recorded in Exodus and Deuteronomy). A second period of iconoclasm occurred in Switzerland, the Holy Roman Empire, France, and elsewhere in western Europe in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation. Iconoclastic entered English in the 17th century. The modern nonreligious, secular sense arose in the 19th century.
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