Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A celebrated legendary highwayman of Attica, who tied his victims upon an iron bed, and, as the case required, either stretched or cut off their legs to adapt them to its length.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A celebrated legendary highwayman of Attica, who tied his victims upon an iron bed, and, as the case required, either stretched or cut of their legs to adapt them to its length; -- whence the metaphorical phrase, the bed of Procrustes.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Greek mythology) a mythical giant who was a thief and murderer; he would capture people and tie them to an iron bed, stretching them or hacking off their legs to make them fit; was killed by Theseus

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek Προκρούστης (Prokroustēs)

Examples

  • Here lived the giant Damastes, called Procrustes or the

    Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

  • And therefore he is called Procrustes, the stretcher.

    The Ontario Readers Third Book

  • And therefore he is called Procrustes the stretcher, though his father called him Damastes.

    Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for My Children

  • One of these evil-doers was called Procrustes, or the Stretcher.

    The Age of Fable

  • Mittie jerked away from the hand laid upon her with no velvet pressure, without opening her lips, but the guilty blood rising to her face spoke eloquently; though she had a kind of Procrustes bed of her own, according to which she stretched or curtailed the truth, she had not the hardihood to tell an unmitigated falsehood, in the presence of her brother, too, and in the light of his truth-beaming eye.

    Helen and Arthur or, Miss Thusa's Spinning Wheel

  • But in 1817 Hazlitt had all the odds against him when he stood up and accused the great Dr. Johnson of having made criticism 'a kind of Procrustes 'bed of genius, where he might cut down imagination to matter-of-fact, regulate the passions according to reason, and translate the whole into logical diagrams and rhetorical declamation'.

    Characters of Shakespeare's Plays

  • Nor is this all; for being conscious of great powers in himself, and those powers of an adverse tendency to those of his author, he would be for setting up a foreign jurisdiction over poetry, and making criticism a kind of Procrustes 'bed of genius, where he might cut down imagination to matter-of-fact, regulate the passions according to reason, and translate the whole into logical diagrams and rhetorical declamation.

    Characters of Shakespeare's Plays

  • One of his latest works, The Bed of Procrustes, is not officially about finance at all, but full of "philosophical and practical aphorisms."

    Vivian Norris: A Walk Through Paris With Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  • Here Mr. Smedley is giving an excellent imitation of Procrustes, the figure of Greek legend who was notorious for fitting his guests to an iron bed—if they were too short, he stretched them; if they were too long, he lopped off the excess.

    Films in Fraught Times

  • Like Procrustes, the mythological innkeeper who stretched his victims or severed their limbs to make them fit his iron bed, the media were making a fluid set of facts fit their iron perspective.

    Deconstructing Obama

Comments

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  • Eek.

    November 3, 2010