from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unifying; having the power to shape disparate things into a unified whole.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Shaped into one; tending to, or formative into, unity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Molding, shaping, or fashioning into one.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Greek ἐς ‘into’ + ἕν + πλαστικός (from πλάσσειν ‘to mould’). Coined by Coleridge, probably after German ineinsbildung ‘forming into one’.


  • And though the earlier books sometimes exposed his infatuation with James Joyce in their weakness for five-dollar words "esemplastic" or "callipygiated", the style here has the sleekness and strength of good crime noir.

    Corruption on the Hudson

  • Saturday, I utilized my esemplastic power (look it up) and created a fun and exciting, eventful evening for myself downtown with many various cool people I know, starting with driving down there alone to meet up with Kitty and her new beau and his gorgeous sister for dinner.


  • Coleridge also distinguished sharply between the use of “Imagination” and “Fancy” by the poet, the latter being able only to copy and embellish past examples, the former, however, possessing an “esemplastic power” to see things as a whole and to bring new worlds to life, by creation and invention.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • It may even be suggested that this unity is the only one close enough to act as the unifying power of the Imagination, the “esemplastic” power of which Coleridge theorized (Biographia Literaria, Ch. XIII).


  • Nor is the metaphor necessary to provide the name for the principle, since it has been given other designations, such as “esemplastic” or “coadunative unity” by Cole - ridge, an “intensive manifold” by T.E. Hulme, or a


  • It will be well, if already you have not too much of metaphysical disquisition in your work, though as the larger part of the disquisition is historical, it will doubtless be both interesting and instructive to many to whose unprepared minds your speculations on the esemplastic power would be utterly unintelligible.

    Biographia Literaria


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  • And out of the fears grew wild hatreds, great unreasoning esemplastic hatreds...

    - Malcolm Lowry, October Ferry to Gabriola

    July 30, 2008

  • ST Coleridge, Biographica Litteraria.

    June 14, 2007