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 (thîr′ē-ə-môr′fĭk) also the·ri·o·mor·phous (-fəs)
Thought of as having the form of a beast. Used of a deity.

[Greek thērion, diminutive of thēr, wild beast; see theropod + -morphic.]
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.


(ˌθɪərɪəʊˈmɔːfɪk) or


(Classical Myth & Legend) (esp of a deity) possessing or depicted in the form of a beast
[C19: from Greek thēriomorphos, from thērion wild animal + morphē shape]
ˈtherioˌmorph n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌθɪər i əˈmɔr fɪk)

also the`ri•o•mor′phous,

(of deities) thought of or represented as having the form of animals.
[1880–85; < Greek thēriómorph(os) beast-shaped (thērío(n) wild beast + -morphos -morphous) + -ic]
the′ri•o•morph`, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Through the representation of animals as selves, as individuals, as theriomorphic pseudogoddess, as angels and as curious creatures, Montale casts a Posthuman sensitivity, which according to Pell, still needs to be explored further.
Unable to save her from her own hands ("unas"), Grimalte describes it as a theriomorphic (beastlike) occurrence that neither he nor anyone else could have prevented:
They are theriomorphic, anthropomorphic, theomorphic vessels, some with very explicit sexual forms, some depicting extremely violent scenes of killing (for instance, a man falling prey to a huge animal).
Still, the terministic screen of the theologist implies also a kind of continuity between man and God, a fact that cannot be attributed also to the relation between animals and God (except, maybe, if we move for instance into the religious universe of the Egyptians, in which animals represent iconic images for various theriomorphic divinities).
I feel that his oeuvre taken altogether is a great achievement, and that it shows the development of a very unique technique and his virtuosity in handling his material: from the theriomorphic and insect-like images of the '50s and '60s to the more figurative walking and sitting couples, and later the angular steel constructions.
Such theriomorphic metaphors proliferated in the nineteenth century, with Lilith as a projection of men's psychic fears and sexual desires, seen in writers and artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti and George MacDonald.
encompassing the categories of anthropomorphic and theriomorphic figurines, models of wagons/chariots, daily objects and architecture, musical instruments like pipes, incense burners, utensils like baking plates, and, interestingly, several model livers that apparently report the results of actual hepatoscopies.
Bhattacharya's seminal article--a must-read for all students in the field--showing how the anthropomorphic attendant Nandin/Nandisvara and the unnamed theriomorphic conveyance of Siva came to be confused in very late sources.
(20) In this regard, the figure of the serpent is the perfect avatar of theriomorphic agency, recalling the function of the snake in ancient Gnostic texts as a female mediator of cosmic wisdom.
Theriomorphic and exaggerated human shapes function in the domain of symbol and magic.
Throughout the novel, Mirbeau's use of theriomorphic imagery, his description of the peacocks, swans, dogs, and spiders that fill his characters' world, suggests his characters' sense of inferiority or their dreams of elevation, their retreat to a plane of animal servility or their wish to take wing and fly over the world.