Procrustean

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj Procrustean of or relating to the mythical giant Procrustes or the mode of torture practiced by him
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Procrustean Of or pertaining to Procrustes, or the mode of torture practiced by him; producing conformity by violent means; as, the Procrustean treatment; a Procrustean limit. See Procrustes.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • Procrustean Of, pertaining to, or resembling Procrustes, a robber of ancient Greece, who, according to the tradition, tortured his victims by placing them on a certain bed, and stretching them or lopping off their legs to adapt the body to its length; resembling this mode of torture.
    • Procrustean Hence Reducing by violence to strict conformity to a measure or model; producing uniformity by deforming or injurious force or by mutilation.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Procrustean prō-krus′tē-an violently making conformable to a standard—from Procrustes, a Greek robber, who stretched or cut a piece off the legs of his captives, so as to fit them to an iron bed.
    • ***

Usage

In literature:

The Procrustean bed of the Pentateuch was still before her.
"History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science" by John William Draper
Circumstances, strained, well nigh dislocated by the effort to force them to fit into his Procrustean measure.
"At the Mercy of Tiberius" by August Evans Wilson
Young limbs will not always adjust themselves to the Procrustean bed.
"Doctor Luttrell's First Patient" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
The Procrustean operation strains even Longfellow sadly.
"Contemporary American Composers" by Rupert Hughes
Even your Procrustean rule seems to fail with him, Paton.
"St. Winifred's" by Frederic W. Farrar
It was a Procrustean bed which rarely fitted its subject.
"Blue Goose" by Frank Lewis Nason
In improvement he was somewhat hasty and procrustean.
"Irish History and the Irish Question" by Goldwin Smith
Our little Procrustean beds are merely furniture that tortures.
"From the Easy Chair, series 2" by George William Curtis
Are there no Procrustean couches in these days?
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 120, October, 1867." by Various
It forced violin playing into a Procrustean bed unsuited to its true nature and mission.
"Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work" by Stephen Samuel Stratton
Now, a good master will treat each voice on its own merit, and not place it at first on the Procrustean bed of a book of rules and exercises.
"Advice to Singers" by Frederick James Crowest
***

In poetry:

Are we grown old and past the time of singing?
Is ardor quenched in art
Till art is but a formal figure, bringing
A money-measured heart,
Procrustean cut, and, with old echoes, ringing
Its bells about the mart?
"Protest" by John Charles McNeill

In news:

Keeping that conference session running smoothly is easy, if you're willing to be a Procrustean chair.
***