cyclopean

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj cyclopean of or relating to or resembling the Cyclops "Cyclopean eye"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Cyclopean Pertaining to the Cyclops; characteristic of the Cyclops; huge; gigantic; vast and rough; massive; as, Cyclopean labors; Cyclopean architecture.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • cyclopean Of or pertaining to, or exhibiting the characteristics of, any of the legendary Cyclopes. Specifically— Having a single eye in the middle of the forehead; in zoology, having a median and apparently or actually single eye. This state may be normal and permanent, as in some of the crustaceans; or normal and marking a stage of development; or monstrous, from defect of growth in the parts concerned, whereby the eyes are not separated. It occurs, for example, occasionally in the pig.
    • cyclopean Vast; gigantic: applied to an early style of masonry, sometimes imitated in later ages, constructed of stones either unhewn or more or less irregularly shaped and fitted together, usually polygonal, but in some more recent examples approaching regular horizontal courses, and often presenting joints of very perfect workmanship. Such masonry was fabled to be the work of the Cyclopes. It is remarkable for the immense size of the stones commonly employed, and was most frequently used for the walls of cities and fortresses. The walls of Tiryns, near Nauplia, in Greece, mentioned by Homer, are a good specimen of Cyclopean masonry. The remains of these walls consist of three courses, of which the stones, measuring from 6 to 9 feet long, from 3 to 4 feet wide, and from 2 to 3 feet deep, are rudely shaped, irregular masses piled on one another. Examples of Cyclopean work occur in Greece, Italy, Asia Minor, and elsewhere. The more primitive Cyclopean masonry in Greece, roughly built of stones entirely unhewn, the spaces between the larger stones being filled with smaller ones, is often termed Pelasgic.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adjs Cyclopean relating to or like the Cyclops: giant-like: vast: pertaining to a prehistoric style of masonry with immense stones of irregular form
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. Cyclopeus, Gr. , fr. Cyclops: cf. F. cyclopeen,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. kyklōpskyklos, a circle, and ōps, an eye.

Usage

In literature:

The bare precipitous rocks rise up on either side like two cyclopean towers, flanking the gateway of the Cevennes.
"The Huguenots in France" by Samuel Smiles
The effrontery is cyclopean, but our supineness and indifference are deplorable and inexcusable.
"The New Avatar and The Destiny of the Soul" by Jirah D. Buck
Of such cyclopean style, though it is a small specimen, is the Chun cromlech, standing near.
"The Cornwall Coast" by Arthur L. Salmon
In front of him rise the "Cyclopean steps" in long, irregular, deeply indented sweeps.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
A cyclopean wall rises from earth to heaven.
"Pilgrimage from the Alps to the Tiber" by James Aitken Wylie
Sir C. P. Ilbert says that Fitzjames was a 'Cyclopean builder.
"The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I." by Sir Leslie Stephen
The walls of the room seemed distant, Cyclopean cliffs; the roof was like a sky.
"The Pygmy Planet" by John Stewart Williamson
A titanic flaming gas vent spouted like a cyclopean torch from the peak of a nearby mountain.
"Astounding Stories, February, 1931" by Various
It rose a couple of miles ahead of us, like a Cyclopean wall, running directly athwart our path.
"Our campaign around Gettysburg" by John Lockwood
Cuzco, Cyclopean remains, 181, 183.
"The Story of Extinct Civilizations of the West" by Robert E. Anderson
As the Greek approached the Acropolis, he admired the cyclopean walls of great stones laid with rare art, solidly fitted without mortar-joints.
"Sónnica" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
He has a "call" to the little shed at the corner of the street where "arrack" is illicitly sold by a cyclopean Arab.
"Belford's Magazine, Vol 2, December 1888" by Various
It is a cyclopean work.
"The Spanish Pioneers" by Charles F. Lummis
Something huge, cyclopean, was being born.
"Shadows of Flames" by Amelie Rives
The Professor (who had rather neglected the Cornice in his Cyclopean information) gazed at us inquiringly, surprised at our merriment.
"Mentone, Cairo, and Corfu" by Constance Fenimore Woolson
He was, as he expressed it, too "cyclopean" for him.
"In Paradise" by Paul Heyse
There were also Cyclopean remains, dating from prehistoric times.
"Glories of Spain" by Charles W. Wood
The suit's single light beaming like a Cyclopean eye.
"By Earthlight" by Bryce Walton
Cyclopean cities, etc., 203.
"Traditions, Superstitions and Folk-lore" by Charles Hardwick
His cupidity was as Cyclopean as his capacity.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. VII, December 1850, Vol. II" by Various
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In poetry:

Or must Fate act the same grey farce again,
And wait, till one, amid Time's wrecks and scars,
Speaks to a ruin here, 'What poet-race
Shot such cyclopean arches at the stars?'
"King's Cross Station" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The brazen empire of the bournless waste,
The unstayed dominions of the brazen sky—
These I desire, and all things wide and deep;
And, lifted past the level years, would taste
The cup of an Olympian ecstasy,
Titanic dream, and Cyclopean sleep.
"Desire Of Vastness" by Clark Ashton Smith