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Word of the Day
Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Definitions for labyrinthine

  1. complicated; tortuous: the labyrinthine byways of modern literature.
  2. of, relating to, or resembling a labyrinth.

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Citations for labyrinthine
... no one had tried out before then a general theory of chance. ... They revere the judgments of fate, they deliver to them their lives, their hopes, their panic, but it does not occur to them to investigate fate's labyrinthine laws nor the gyratory spheres which reveal it. , "Lottery in Babylon," translated by John M. Fein, Prairie Schooner, Fall 1959
But the sentences in “Music of Time” are often long and labyrinthine, heavily qualified and with dangling modifiers all over the place. Charles McGrath, "How Anthony Powell Wrote His Twelve-Volume Masterpiece," The New Yorker, November 12, 2018
Origin of labyrinthine
1740-1750
What treasures lie in labyrinthine! It is obviously a derivative of labyrinth, via Latin labyrinthus “maze, labyrinth, especially the one built by Daedalus in Cnossus,” from Greek labýrinthos. Labýrinthos has long been associated with Greek lábrys “ax,” especially the double-headed ax in Minoan mythology (and built onto Minoan buildings), from Lydian (an extinct language spoken in western Asia Minor). In a Linear B tablet from Knossos (Linear B is a system of syllabic writing used for Greek in Mycenean times), there is the phrase Daburinthoio Potniai “to the Mistress of the Labyrinth (an offering of one amphora)." The confusion of d and l is pretty common: compare Odysseus and Ulysses, Dakota and Lakota, Latin odor “a smell” and olet “it smells.” Labyrinthine entered English in the 17th century.