Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. In the philosophy of Aristotle, the condition of a thing whose essence is fully realized; actuality.
  • n. In some philosophical systems, a vital force that directs an organism toward self-fulfillment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The complete realisation and final form of some potential concept or function; the conditions under which a potential thing becomes actualised.
  • n. A particular type of motivation, need for self-determination, and inner strength directing life and growth to become all one is capable of being. It is the need to actualize one’s beliefs. It is having a personal vision and being able to actualize that vision from within.
  • n. Something complex that emerges when you put a large number of simple objects together.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An actuality; a conception completely actualized, in distinction from mere potential existence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Realization: opposed to power or potentiality, and nearly the same as energy or act (actuality).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Aristotle) the state of something that is fully realized; actuality as opposed to potentiality

Etymologies

Late Latin entelechīa, from Greek entelekheia : entelēs, complete (en-, in; see en-2 + telos, completion; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots) + ekhein, to have; see segh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin entelechia, from Ancient Greek ἐντελέχεια (entelékheia), coined by Aristotle from ἐντελής (entelés, "complete, finished, perfect") (from τέλος (télos, "end, fruition, accomplishment")) + ἔχω (ékho, "to have") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term entelechy which sounds outlandish to us may be replaced by the word realization or actualization and is very close in meaning to the

    A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy

  • Salmansohn re-defines such difficult concepts such as "entelechy", as your intended seed personality and "mightiest human being self" and "mimesis" as the groundwork for creating vision boards, which I later tried.

    Alyssa Pinsker: How I Lost My Prince Harming And Found Karen Salmansohn

  • The vital factor he boldly designates "entelechy", or "psychoid", and advocated a return to Aristotle for the most helpful conception of the principle of life.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9: Laprade-Mass Liturgy

  • In such a state one has access to the creative, world making place where one's unique entelechy (the essential self) meets the Entelechy of a potential new time, one that gives the details of an evolution in person and society.

    The 'Future of God' Debate

  • It seems that the book contains only concepts, not people, which, for me, makes it a collection of samples of entelechy, a compendium of incomprehensible ideas.

    Yoani Sanchez: Fidel's Dictionary: A Man's Phrases are Compiled When You Know He's Finished

  • Behind this kind of ethic stands the Aristotelian notion of entelechy: humans have a natural potential to develop rationality and through it acquire virtuous character.

    Guess Who Was At The Party?

  • Borrowing a term from Aristotle, Burke referred to it as a manifestation of entelechy — the tendency of a potential to realize itself.

    enowning

  • He concludes: ...there are four features of development of doctrine that I think to which I think an adequate account must do justice: (1) richness; (2) confidelity; (3) creativity; (4) entelechy.

    Siris on development of doctrine

  • “Thus we see that each living body has a dominant entelechy, which in the animal is the soul; but the limbs of this living body are full of other living beings, plants, animals, each of which also has its entelechy, or its dominant soul.”

    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

  • The idea here again sounds Aristotelian: a substance has a certain essentially active component, the soul or substantial form or first entelechy, and a passive component, primary matter.

    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

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