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1. Greek Mythology Of or relating to Apollo or his cult.
2. often apollonian
a. Characterized by clarity, harmony, and restraint.
b. In the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, of or embodying the power of critical reason as opposed to the creative-intuitive.
3. often apollonian Serenely high-minded; noble.


1. (Classical Myth & Legend) of or relating to Apollo or the cult of Apollo
2. (Philosophy) (sometimes not capital) (in the philosophy of Nietzsche) denoting or relating to the set of static qualities that encompass form, reason, harmony, sobriety, etc
3. (often not capital) harmonious; serene; ordered


(ˌæp əˈloʊ ni ən)

1. of or pertaining to Apollo or his cult.
2. (l.c.) serene, calm, or well-balanced.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Patrick's hermetic Rothko is an egocentric, vulnerable and irascible proponent of Nietzsche's "The Birth of Tragedy,'' his paintings representing the opposing struggle between Dionysian emotion/chaos and Apollonian intelligence/order, the tragedy being that there can never be complete balance.
While granting problems--sometimes severe--in Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, he employs Lonergan's "transformations of consciousness" both to reorient Nietzsche's account of the Dionysian and Apollonian in the direction of authentic self-transcendence and to preserve "the genius of Kierkegaard's anthropology" without dismissing Balthasar's concern with the Danish philosopher's diminishment of the aesthetic.
What Nietzsche describes as the Apollonian, associated with clarity, consciousness, and control, bears evident affinities with Schopenhauer's account of representation, while what Nietzsche describes as the Dionysian, associated with chaotic energy, passion, and the collapse of distinctions, bears evident affinities with Schopenhauer's account of will.
I am temperamentally allergic to the over-insistent rhetoric and crowd-pleasing aspects of some of Liszt's work, and so I found it odd to hear such a fastidious artist apply his Apollonian gifts to the Dionysian bombast and acrobatics of the finale - Venezia e Napoli.
Beyond the possibility of national labels is the poet, whose greatness, in Mahon's words is the "Dionysian contained within/ the Apollonian form, and bursting at the seams--shaking at the bars, but/ the bars have to be there to be shaken" (212).
In Sexual Personae (1990), Camille Paglia makes use of Nietzsche's distinction between Apollonian and Dionysian/Bacchanalian to analyse the development of Western art from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson.
Yet these works, with their calm, almost Apollonian appearance, do not, in fact, lack playfulness or ironic lightness.
Nietzsche pits intuition, metaphor, and the Dionysian against rationality, conceptual reification, and the Apollonian.
Apollonian ball packings form a renowed class of infinite ball packings, see for instance [GLM+05, GLM+06].
The defining struggle of Aschenbach's life is that between his paternal and maternal legacies, between the Apollonian intellect embodied by his father and the Dionysian emotion embodied by his mother, and integral to this struggle is his effort to transform the production of art into a manly, proactive, and civic minded undertaking by conquering its effeminate, egocentric, and asocial aspects.
Here again he draws from Deluze's Proust and Signs, but the words serve just as well as a helpful reminder to any Apollonian trying to make sense of the Dionysian's mysterious work.
At the time, Nietzsche was a professor of classical philology (the study of language in written historical sources); in The Birth of Tragedy, he contemplated the Apollonian and Dionysian elements of classical Athenian tragedy, viewing ancient plays as an art form that rose above the fundamental hopelessness, meaninglessness, and nihilism that surrounds life.