Definition of prelapsarian in English:



literary Theology
  • Characteristic of the time before the Fall of Man; innocent and unspoiled.

    ‘a prelapsarian Eden of astonishing plenitude’
    • ‘To the extent that the freedom of prelapsarian man survives the fall - and Milton is ambivalent about this - so does his end, which is not to found and hold office in republics, but to serve God out of the care to please him.’
    • ‘One must not identify it, say, with the pure, prelapsarian humanity favored in medieval accounts of the incarnation.’
    • ‘But other early monastic texts hold out the hope of a different, nonviolent, world, one that restores the prelapsarian harmony between human beings and animals.’
    • ‘In the prelapsarian situation, the existence of sexual distinction was unnoticed.’
    • ‘In the refrain of ‘poem,’ the speaker embraces the world of experience: she is adamant that she ‘shall never go back’ to the innocence of the prelapsarian state.’
    • ‘In keeping with his prelapsarian innocence, this ideal male is shown without the potentially dangerous sign of his sexuality.’
    • ‘The same condition is true for ‘Photos of a Salt Mine,’ in which prelapsarian innocence must yield to the reality of the fallen world.’
    • ‘Adam's naming of the beasts in Genesis 8, recalled by Milton in Paradise Lost VIII: 352-54, evokes the power of prelapsarian language to connect the mind with creation.’
    • ‘On the one hand, the works contain neither persons nor artifacts that would establish a human scale; they evoke a world - prelapsarian or post-apocalyptic - divorced from human perspectives.’
    • ‘These were - so the pamphlets alleged - a radical sect during the English Revolution, whose most striking tenet was that the attainment of a sanctified state involved the adoption of the prelapsarian nakedness of humanity's first father.’
    • ‘Jim's conviction that ‘some memories are realities’ is infused with a deep, nostalgic longing for a prelapsarian past, a time before disillusionment.’
    • ‘With his belief in humanity as a state to be attained rather than granted, Overton considers political reformation crucial for regaining our prelapsarian humanness.’
    • ‘In a sense, then, Traherne agrees with Sidney's contentions, that a poet can show an objective - golden and prelapsarian - world.’
    • ‘Its warm sea - an invitation to swim rather than a test of stoicism - its beautiful beaches and its year-round temperate climate seem like a prelapsarian idyll.’
    • ‘Once these burdens had been lifted by the redemptive power of revolution, it would be possible to construct a free and equal society based upon the prelapsarian goodness of human nature.’
    • ‘The perfectly blue, puffy-clouded sky and bitsy little silos make for a prelapsarian vista only slightly altered by humans.’



/ˌprēlapˈserēən/ /ˌprilæpˈsɛriən/


Late 19th century from pre-‘before’ + Latin lapsus, from labi ‘to fall’.