Also found in: Wikipedia.


 (hī′ər-ə-fănt′, hī′rə-, hī-ĕr′ə-fənt)
1. An ancient Greek priest who interpreted sacred mysteries, especially the priest of the Eleusinian mysteries.
2. An interpreter of sacred mysteries or arcane knowledge.
3. One who explains or makes a commentary.

[Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs : hieros, holy; see eis- in Indo-European roots + -phantēs, one who shows (from phainein, phan-, to show; see bhā- in Indo-European roots).]

hi′er·o·phan′tic adj.
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.


1. (Historical Terms) (in ancient Greece) an official high priest of religious mysteries, esp those of Eleusis
2. a person who interprets and explains esoteric mysteries
[C17: from Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs, from hiero- + phainein to reveal]
ˌhieroˈphantic adj
ˌhieroˈphantically adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhaɪ ər əˌfænt, ˈhaɪ rə-, haɪˈɛr ə fənt)

1. (in the ancient world) the chief priest of a mystery cult, esp. of the Eleusinian mysteries.
2. any interpreter of sacred mysteries or esoteric principles; mystagogue.
[1670–80; < Late Latin hierophanta < Greek hierophántēs=hiero- hiero- + -phántēs, derivative of phaínein to show, make known]
hi`er•o•phan′tic, adj.
hi`er•o•phan′ti•cal•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
The hierophant of the sun-god made an effort to climb back on his pedestal.
I have a woman's heart, but not where you are concerned; for you I have only a comrade's constancy; a fellow-soldier's frankness, fidelity, fraternity, if you like; a neophyte's respect and submission to his hierophant: nothing more--don't fear."
There have been famous babes; for example, little Moses, from whose adventure in the bulrushes the Egyptian hierophants of seven centuries before doubtless derived their idle tale of the child Osiris being preserved on a floating lotus leaf.
In my interpretation I took the major arcana more or less as is, inserting the four elements in place of the emperor, empress, priestess, and hierophant, who didn't really play much role in my life, and using my own image as the Fool.
extolling of the writer as a Shelleyean hierophant "with words
As would be expected, the period japes directed at this easily caricatured Hierophant of the Beyond beggar count.
The hierophant did not act as a god but transformed into the god itself (Subirats, 2012, p.
Goner also put out the Hierophant's LP Parallax Error, featuring an Ausmuteant.
Works discussed include Char Davies' Osmose, William Gibson's Agrippa (A Book of the Dead), the Xbox game Kinectimals, the online arcade-style game oTornado,o the simulation Empress & Hierophant in Second Life, Stephanie Strickland's slipping-glimpse, S.W.A.M.P.'s Spore 1.1, Playdom's (Lil) Green Patch, and the German-based search engine Ecosia.
Synopsis: A cascading adventure of discovery, intrigue, and romance, "He Can See Heaven: The Hierophant" by J.
In my house there's a very large portrait, "Borges the Hierophant," painted by my son Keith Lima.
(17) Specifically, the model was provided by D'Annunzio and comprised the "hierophant" poet and his 'high priestess', with the latter interpreting at the material level the visions apprehended by the former at the spiritual level.