\ \ [17] Hermetic means literally ‘of Hermes’. Not Hermes the messenger of the Greek gods, though, but an Egyptian priest of the time of Moses, who in the Middle Ages was regarded as identical with the versatile Hermes in his capacity of patron of science and invention, and who was thus named Hermes TrismegistusHermes the thrice greatest’. This shadowy figure was the supposed author of various works on alchemy and magic, and so the term hermetic came to be roughly synonymous with alchemical. One of the inventions credited to Hermes Trismegistus was a magic seal to make containers airtight, and by the 1660s we find hermetic being used for ‘airtight’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Hermetic — Her*met ic, Hermetical Her*met ic*al, a. [F. herm[ e]tique. See Note under {Hermes}, 1.] 1. Of, pertaining to, or taught by, Hermes Trismegistus; as, hermetic philosophy. Hence: Alchemical; chemic. Delusions of the hermetic art. Burke. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hermetic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of a seal or closure) complete and airtight. 2) insulated or protected from outside influences. 3) esoteric or cryptic: hermetic poems. DERIVATIVES hermetically adverb hermeticism noun. ORIGIN from Latin Hermes Trismegistus th …   English terms dictionary

  • Hermetic — corpus …   Philosophy dictionary

  • hermetic — index impervious Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • hermetic — HERMÉTIC, Ă adj. v. ermetic. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • hermetic — c.1600 (implied in hermetically), completely sealed, also (1630s) dealing with occult science or alchemy, from L. hermeticus, from Gk. Hermes, god of science and art, among other things, identified by Neoplatonists, mystics, and alchemists with… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hermetic — [adj] airtight completely sealed, impervious, sealed, shut, tight, waterproof, watertight; concept 483 …   New thesaurus

  • hermetic — [hər met′ik] adj. [ModL hermeticus < L Hermes < Gr Hermēs (trismegistos)] 1. [usually H ] of or derived from Hermes Trismegistus and his lore 2. [sometimes H ] a) magical; alchemic b) hard to understand; obscure 3. [from use in alche …   English World dictionary

  • Hermetic — The word hermetic is commonly applied to literary or graphical symbolism that is exceedingly obscure, convoluted, or esoteric. In that context, and not in any other context, hermeticism is the deliberate use of hermetic imagery.The word hermetic… …   Wikipedia

  • hermetic — [[t]hɜː(r)me̱tɪk[/t]] 1) ADJ: ADJ n If a container has a hermetic seal, the seal is very tight so that no air can get in or out. [TECHNICAL] This would permit air to enter, breaking the hermetic seal of the jar. Syn: airtight Derived words:… …   English dictionary

  • hermetic — also hermetical adjective Etymology: Medieval Latin hermeticus, from Hermet , Hermes Trismegistus Date: 1605 1. often capitalized a. of or relating to the Gnostic writings or teachings arising in the first three centuries A.D. and attributed to… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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