Apotheosis

The noun apotheosis traditionally means (1) deification, (2) glorification, and (3) an exalted or glorified example. But in practical usage, the word is almost always used as a synonym of apex, quintessence, or culmination. This sense appears even in publications with high editorial standards—for example:

Obama could do that in the presidential campaign because he was the thrilling apotheosis of the multi-century struggle against racism. [Washington Post]

Bagshaw is the apotheosis of the hack journalist, omni-competent in mediocrity of all kinds … [Independent]

Similar examples abound, and meanwhile we can’t find a single instance of apotheosis used in the traditional sense. This suggests the original definitions of the word may be dying, and that apotheosis now means culmination. The original apotheosis is a good word, though, so careful writers should perhaps keep fighting for it.

Let us know if you can find any instances of apotheosis used correctly (according to the conventional definition)

Comments are closed.

Help Us Improve!

Help Us Improve!

- Did we make a mistake?
- Do you have feedback or suggestions on how we can improve?

press Enter

Use Shift+Tab to go back