Meaning of Silenic in English:


Pronunciation /sʌɪˈliːnɪk/


  • Resembling Silenus, the tutor and companion of the god Dionysus, or one of the Sileni in having an outwardly or superficially unattractive or unrefined appearance, especially one that belies an inner value.

    The trope of likening something which does not have an immediately apparent value to Silenus seems to have its origins in Plato's Symposium 215b, in which Alcibiades likens Socrates, who is physically unattractive but a captivating speaker, to a Silenus figure.


Early 19th century; earliest use found in Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), poet. From ancient Greek Σιληνικός of or like Silenus from Σιληνός + -ικός.