from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A frenzy supposed by ancient peoples to have been induced by nymphs.
- n. An emotional frenzy.
- n. A frenzied state of (usually erotic) emotion, especially concerning something or someone unattainable.
- n. A species of demoniac enthusiasm or possession coming upon one who had accidentally looked upon a nymph; ecstasy.
- n. An ecstasy; a divine frenzy.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
A terrible malady is she, a malady the ancients knew of and called nympholepsy -- a beautiful name evocative and symbolic of its ideal aspect,
The word we want is "nympholepsy", which doesn't quite mean what you think it means.
It is this repetition—not the nympholepsy itself, but the endless recurrence of its self-imprisoning instants—that eventually dooms and destroys Humbert.
The seduction of Lolita exists in discrete moments that are sufficient in themselves to constitute the heaven and hell of nympholepsy.
How often have _we_ -- martyrs to a hopeless nympholepsy -- strayed through that piazza, at the self same hour -- there deemed that the heart would break -- but never thought that it might slowly wither.
De Quincey has done so in prose, for instance, and Lord Byron talks of 'The nympholepsy of a fond despair,' though he never was accused of being overridden by his Greek.
The most common disease to genius is nympholepsy -- the saddening for a spirit that the world knows not.
The word 'nympholepsy' comes from Greek roots meaning "nymph" and "to seize".