Something Olympian reminds you of Mount Olympus from Greek mythology: it's majestic or godlike in an impressive, larger-than-life way. (And sometimes, something Olympian can be aloof or high and mighty, like someone standing alone and godlike on a mountaintop.)
Also, if you call a person an Olympian, you mean his achievements or abilities are totally incredible. (Of course, an Olympian is also simply someone who competes in the Olympics.)
ole IMP ee un
Part of speech
It's both a proper adjective (an Olympian thing, a thing that is Olympian)
and a proper noun meaning a person (she's an Olympian, three Olympians.)
How to use it:
First, because "Olympian" means literally "related to Mount Olympus," you always capitalize it, like you do with "Appalachian" and "Himalayan."
Next, note that this word has a grand, serious, formal tone.
So for the adjective, talk about Olympian hills or mountains, Olympian heights or views, the Olympian majesty of something in nature, someone's Olympian stature or posture, an Olympian viewpoint or perspective, Olympian strength or speed or skill, etc.
For the noun, call someone an Olympian (or an Olympian of some area or in some field) when you mean that she's achieved something extremely amazing: "On his show, Colbert hosted an Olympian of psychology, Philip Zimbardo." You might talk about Olympians in the plural, also: "The new hashtag is making the rounds with the Olympians of Twitter."
More than optimism, you need an Olympian perspective to see the good that can come out of a profoundly sad situation.
The dessert was pretty good, but it didn't take my taste buds soaring to the Olympian heights that the menu description promised.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "Olympian" means when you can explain it without saying "celestial" or "godlike."
Think of something you've done that requires a staggering amount of patience, and fill in the blanks: "It takes (a certain amount of time) and Olympian patience to _____."
Example: "It took a good four or five hours and Olympian patience to re-organize all of our books after they were packed and unpacked higgledy-piggledy."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with song lyrics that include words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I’ll give you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition. See if you can come up with it! You can follow the link to see the right answer right away, or just wait until the following day’s issue. Have fun!
Yesterday's lyrics: Artist: Indigo Girls Title: (Our vocabulary word) Lyrics: Up on the _____
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load Definition: an important event or turning point, or a place where the land bumps upward and moisture falls down from it in opposite directions.
Try this one today:
Artist: Prince Title: Dreamer Lyrics: With more rewards and _____s than anyone before or after
21st century, oh what a shame, what a shame
Race, race still matters Definition: public honors
Chuck Palahniuk: “The first step — especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money — the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.”
1. The opposite of OLYMPIAN is
2. We expect the Olympians of economics to _____.
A. summarize the causes of historical large-scale booms and busts
B. give examples of what's meant by "supply" and "demand"
C. predict trends with remarkable accuracy
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.