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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Vitalism. a vital agent or force directing growth and life. Cf. teleology.entelechial, adj.
See also: Philosophy
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The physical achievement or realization of a potential.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
This was an ever-repeated process in which an animal may adopt different forms and be transformed, as it occurred with the caterpillar and the butterfly, but it never disappeared and never completely lost its body, its material basis: "according to my opinion, not only are all lives, all souls, all minds, all primitive entelechies, everlasting, but also that to each primitive entelechy or each vital principle there is perpetually united a certain natural machine, which comes to us under the name of organic body: which machine, moreover, even although it preserves its form in general, remains in flux, and is, like the ship of Theseus, perpetually repaired.
For Katz and Rivers, predestination serves as a posthuman substitute for entelechy in that it incorporates material and symbolic forces into relationships, interactions, and motives.
Each attempt to create a new, simplified brand met with the challenges of not first clarifying what the new brand should be, instead of what the old Entelechy Partners wasn't.
I continue to think entelechy has a lot to do with reversal and emergence.
All material bodies are fluid, Leibniz states in the Preface to the New Essays, and infinitely divisible because each contains a mind-like entelechy or monad.
Withal the consideration for hardware entelechy of the system is to be made.
Then, the fall and confinement in the proud, cloud-sheltered palace, and behold naked Entelechy rearing to the day, vertical and in vain'.
She sneezes and cries; it's about hardly knowing why that shifts in between any conversation she might successfully have with the ordinary entelechy of a "day.
till one day I got hold of a pen and started putting on paper, by hand, what writing meant to me, why I found it essential, for it was (is) my only way of deriving some meaning out of reality, this entelechy.
In this article I attempt to explore Aristotle's arguments about ousia, and on the basis of this exploration, I argue that Aristotle can really only make sense of ousia, in relation to its basic intelligibility, through the concepts of telos (end) and entelechy (fulfilment).