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n. pl. en·tel·e·chies
1. In the philosophy of Aristotle, the actualization of the potential form or function of a substance.
2. In some philosophical systems, a vital force that directs an organism toward self-fulfillment.

[Late Latin entelechīa, from Greek entelekheia : entelēs, complete (en-, in; see en-2 + telos, completion; see kwel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + ekhein, to have; see segh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]


n, pl -chies
1. (Philosophy) (in the philosophy of Aristotle) actuality as opposed to potentiality
2. (Philosophy) (in the system of Leibnitz) the soul or principle of perfection of an object or person; a monad or basic constituent
3. (Philosophy) something that contains or realizes a final cause, esp the vital force thought to direct the life of an organism
[C17: from Late Latin entelechia, from Greek entelekheia, from en-2 + telos goal, completion + ekhein to have]


(ɛnˈtɛl ə ki)

n., pl. -chies.
1. a realization or actuality as opposed to a potentiality.
2. (in vitalist philosophy) a vital agent or force directing growth and life.
[1595–1605; < Late Latin entelechīa < Greek entelécheia=en- en-2 + tél(os) goal + éch(ein) to have + -eia -y3]


Vitalism. a vital agent or force directing growth and life. Cf. teleology.entelechial, adj.
See also: Philosophy


The physical achievement or realization of a potential.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.entelechy - (Aristotle) the state of something that is fully realized; actuality as opposed to potentiality
metaphysics - the philosophical study of being and knowing
Aristotle - one of the greatest of the ancient Athenian philosophers; pupil of Plato; teacher of Alexander the Great (384-322 BC)
actuality - the state of actually existing objectively; "a hope that progressed from possibility to actuality"
References in periodicals archive ?
PZ: This line from McLuhan and Powers (1989) confirms your point: "[Innis] recovered for the West the world of entelechies and formal causality long buried by the logicians and teachers of applied knowledge.
See for instance, section 66: "there is a world of creatures, of living beings, of animals, of entelechies, of souls in the least part of matter"; and 70: "each living body has a dominant entelechy.
It is perhaps relevant to point out that the Greeks made no entelechies or studies of the effects of man-made technology, but only of what they considered the objects of the natural world.