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

  • adj. Greek Mythology Of or relating to Apollo or his cult.
  • adj. Characterized by clarity, harmony, and restraint.
  • adj. In the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, of or embodying the power of critical reason as opposed to the creative-intuitive.
  • adj. Serenely high-minded; noble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to the Greek god Apollo.
  • adj. Of or relating to the Ancient Greek mathematician Apollonius of Perga.
  • adj. Alternative form of apollonian.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or resembling, Apollo.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Possessing the traits or attributes of Apollo.
  • Devised by or named after Apollonius of Perga, an ancient Greek geometer, celebrated for his original investigations in conic sections. He flourished under Ptolemy Philopator, 222–205 b. c.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In literary terms, Apollonian is the order, while Dionysian is the chaos.

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  • "Apollonian" Watercolor, Colored Pencil and Graphite on Paper 38 x 50 in.

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  • Each of these "Apollonian" instruments was historically referred to as a lyre and demanded attentive tuning: in the cabinet below the harp we find its tuning mechanism, whose tau-like shape evokes the spiritual temperament of the Franciscan Order. 309

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  • An interesting thought I take out of this article is the concepts of "Apollonian" (pro-orthodox) and "Dionysian" (anti-orthodox) research.

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  • Dionysus is the libertine Id, the horny kid, the spirit of tragedy and comedy, an aesthetics of passion which stands as antithesis to an "Apollonian" aesthetics of reason.

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  • For Nietzsche, life is a struggle between man's elevated, "Apollonian" inclinations, and his passionate, "Dionysian" ones.

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  • In the first versions of the libretto, by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, Roger succumbs to the prophet, who is revealed to be Dionysus; Szymanowski, however, was unsatisfied with that ending and has Roger finally abandon that cult to worship the sun, choosing a kind of Apollonian "third way" between the strict morality of the church and the license of the Dionysian revelers.

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  • As opposed the what Nietzsche called the "Apollonian" side of culture, that which seeks balance and structure, we were now moving into the realm of the "Dionysian" - the irrational, the delusional, the fanatical side of human nature.

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  • From the earliest moments of ballet, the idea was to create some kind of Apollonian image

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  • It is important that they mesh well vocally because both are essentially seduced by the Pastor, and their fevered ambivalence about their own relationship is where much of the Dionysian and Apollonian drama plays out.

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