Meaning of polythetic in English:


Pronunciation /ˌpɒlɪˈθɛtɪk/


  • Relating to or sharing a number of characteristics which occur commonly in members of a group or class, but none of which is essential for membership of that group or class.

    ‘The book of essays, he says, can be as diverse and polythetic and lacking in common themes as the individual.’
    • ‘Spickard claims that like musical performance for Schutz, ritual is a reordering of shared time: ‘Like music or poetry, prayer is a polythetic phenomenon.’’
    • ‘A polythetic agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis was performed on the data with Sorensen's index as the distance measure, using PC-ORD Version 4.’
    • ‘Once again, however, the phenetic structure is most likely polythetic.’


1940s from poly-‘many’ + Greek thetos ‘placed, arranged’ + -ic.