Meaning of hierophant in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhʌɪ(ə)rə(ʊ)fant/


  • A person, especially a priest, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.

    ‘The dedicatory inscription on a statue base found in the Agora Excavations throws new light on relations between families of hierophants and daduchs in the late second and early third century A.D.’
    • ‘As it happens, we know the hierophants who served from the reign of Antoninus Pius to ca. 191: Flavius Leosthenes and Julius Hierophantes.’
    • ‘The father of Apollonios the hierophant was, as mentioned above, C. Iulius Casianus Apollonios of Steiria.’
    • ‘In order for her to be the granddaughter of the hierophant Casianus Apollonios, her father must of course be his son, therefore born presumably ca. 175-180.’
    • ‘Clearly this hierophant had achieved a social and political status similar to that enjoyed by Apollonios.’


Late 17th century via late Latin from Greek hierophantēs, from hieros ‘sacred’ + phainein ‘show, reveal’.