Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person possessed by an evil ghost, spirit, or entity.
  • n. A frantic and hysterical person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One possessed by an evil spirit; a demoniac.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One possessed by an evil spirit; a demoniac.

Etymologies

From Latin energumenus, from Ancient Greek ἐνεργούμενον (energoúmenon), from verb ἐνεργέω (energeō, "to influence"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • So what if I am quite a spectacular energumen, at least I'm full of surprises.

    Gayired.com - Gay OnLine Community for Entertainment and Daily News

  • On the left is a prostrate energumen striking his forehead against the ground, with

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • At any rate, in Oxford the young energumen found himself happy and merry beyond words: he worked brilliantly, was a notable figure in the Union debates, argued passionately against every conventional English tradition, and attacked authority, complacence, and fetichism of every kind.

    Shandygaff

  • Nevertheless, they did not make him out to be an energumen for all that.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • His verses I detest, but I love to hear him recite them -- he has the air of an energumen.

    Diderot and the Encyclopædists Volume II.

  • A few hours had sufficed to break the spirit of the energumen, who now declared that he recognized the authority of the magistrates and begged forgiveness for having insulted them.

    Là-bas

  • And in a leading article of the "Trumpet," Keck characterized Ladislaw's speech at a Reform meeting as "the violence of an energumen -- a miserable effort to shroud in the brilliancy of fireworks the daring of irresponsible statements and the poverty of a knowledge which was of the cheapest and most recent description."

    Middlemarch

  • In the first place, it is my duty to acknowledge that but for your interference yesterday the gigantic energumen by whom I was unexpectedly beset would have slain me.

    The Prince of India — Volume 01

  • Ladislaw's speech at a Reform meeting as "the violence of an energumen -- a miserable effort to shroud in the brilliancy of fireworks the daring of irresponsible statements and the poverty of a knowledge which was of the cheapest and most recent description."

    Middlemarch

  • He coloured and looked astonished, as well as annoyed; and the words had no sooner escaped my lips than I felt a shock of alarm lest such an anticipation of words -- very far from being words of course, easy to divine -- should have betrayed me as an exceptional being, a sort of quiet energumen, whom every one, Bertha above all, would shudder at and avoid.

    The Lifted Veil

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Comments

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  • "Ervil (LeBaron) was a charismatic energumen in the tradition of Charles Manson and, more recently, the Reverend Jim Jones of Guyana fame."

    -- source: Ben Bradlee, Jr., and Dale Van Atta, Prophet of Blood: The Untold Story of Ervil LeBaron and the Lambs of God), Chapter 15, pp.223-224.)

    October 29, 2009

  • One possessed by an evil spirit; a demoniac.

    'Keck characterized Ladislaw's speech at a Reform meeting as "the violence of an energumen--a miserable effort to shroud in the brilliancy of fireworks the daring of irresponsible statements and the poverty of a knowledge which was of the cheapest and most recent description."

    "That was a rattling article yesterday, Keck," said Dr. Sprague, with sarcastic intentions. "But what is an energumen?"

    "Oh, a term that came up in the French Revolution," said Keck.'

    - George Eliot, Middlemarch

    February 21, 2008