Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Greek Mythology The river of forgetfulness, one of the five rivers in Hades.
  • n. A condition of forgetfulness; oblivion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Death.
  • n. A river of Hades whose waters when drunk caused forgetfulness of the past.
  • n. Oblivion; a draught of oblivion; forgetfulness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An obsolete variant of lithe.
  • n. Death.
  • n. In Gr. myth.: The personification of oblivion, a daughter of Eris.
  • n. The river of oblivion, one of the streams of Hades, the waters of which possessed the quality of causing those who drank of them to forget their former existence.
  • n. A draught of oblivion; forgetfulness.
  • n. In entomology, a genus of nymphalid butterflies, with one species, L. europa, from the Malay archipelago.

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

  • n. (Greek mythology) a river in Hades; the souls of the dead had to drink from it, which made them forget all they had done and suffered when they were alive

Etymologies

Greek Lēthē, from lēthē, forgetfulness.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Greeks at the time, long before Aristotle, understood what Aletheia was, with heavy influence of what "lethe" was.

    enowning

  • About as meaningless as the word ‘freedom’ is. lethe Says:

    Contra Contra James Wood

  • These are less confrontational and pose no legal threats lethe

    The Editor and the Curator (Or the Context Analyst and the Media Synesthete) | Tomorrow Museum

  • It accounts for concealment (lethe) in unconcealment, which in turn accounts for withholding (epechein) in the epochs.

    enowning

  • "The event of appropriation is in itself an event of expropriation; this word takes up, in a manner commensurate with the event, the early Greek lethe, in the sense of concealment."

    enowning

  • The link is made explicit in the first seminar where, in his analysis of repression in the Freudian sense, we come across the following observation: 'In every entry of being into its habitation in words, there's a margin of forgetting, a lethe complementary to every aletheia.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • Meanwhile, Heidegger described lethe as a horizon from which things/beings emerge and to which beings rest.

    enowning

  • If lethe then appears as a “movement”, it is, in my opinion, because of this Ereignis.

    enowning

  • It was William Richardson who -- from his unique knowledge of Heidegger and Lacan, and in a direct response to Sallis's essay -- drew this conclusion when he said Heidegger among the Doctors: 'When I hear Heidegger talk about lethe as "older" than the essence of truth, I hear what Lacan means by the real.'

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • "It seems I drank some lethe water, and forgot where home is," Dor said, embarrassed.

    Zombie Lover

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Comments

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  • I know not Lethe nor Nepenthe. (It always makes me think of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.)

    July 2, 2014

  • He favors cold beer, crisp but yeasty,
    Sweet smoke rising, thick and wreathy,
    Til strangers seem friends
    Who'll float 'round the bends,
    Adrift with poor Ernest on the Lethe.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    July 2, 2014

  • Surely the most famous applications of this word are in the opening stanzas of two of Keats' Great Odes:

    Ode to a Nightingale
      
    MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains  
      My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,  
    Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains  
      One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:...

    Ode on Melancholy
      
    NO, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist  
      Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;  
    Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kist  
      By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;...

    July 2, 2014

  • daimona of oblivion.

    April 7, 2008