• IPA: /ˈliːθi/

lethe (uncountable)

  1. Forgetfulness of the past; oblivion.
  2. Dissimulation
    • 1607, William Shakspeare, Antony and Cleopatra
      The conquering wine hath steept our sense
      In soft and delicate lethe.
    • 1980, Joseph J. Kockelmans, On Heidegger and Language, Northwestern University Press (ISBN 9780810106123), p. 241:
      What does it mean to say that the stream of silence originates in lethe? It means, above all, that the stream has its source (Quelle) in that which has not yet been said and which must remain unsaid: the "unsaid."
Related terms Noun

lethe (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete, rare) Death. (Shakespearean)
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, The Life and Death of Julius Caesar (play) (published 1623) iii. i. 207:
      Here wast thou bay’d, brave hart, Here didst thou fall: and here thy hunters stand, Sign'd in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe.

  • IPA: /ˈliː.θi/
Proper noun
  1. (Greek mythology) The personification of oblivion, daughter of Eris.
  2. (Greek mythology) The river which flows through Hades from which the souls of the dead drank so that they would forget their time on Earth.
    • 1782, Lethe, or Aesop in the shades: A dramatic satire, page 223
      come over—“But care, I suppose, is thirsty; and till they have drench’d themselves with Lethe, there will be no quiet among ’em” however, I’ll e’en to work; and so, friend Æsop, and brother Mercury, good bye to ye. [Exit Charon. AEs.]
    • 2015, Peter E. Meltzer, The Thinker's Thesaurus: Sophisticated Alternatives to Common Words (Expanded Third Edition), W. W. Norton & Company ISBN 9780393338973
      oblivion n.: Lethe. In Greek mythology, Lethe (pronounced LEEthee) is one of the several rivers of Hades. Those who drink from it experience complete forgetfulness. Today it is used to refer to one in an oblivious or forgetful state.
Related terms Translations

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