from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to matter; material: among the Gnostics opposed to psychic and pneumatic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to matter; material; corporeal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having to do with or of the nature of matter or material.
  • noun Gnosticism In gnostic theologian Valentinus' triadic grouping of man the basest type; a person focused on neither intellectual (psychic) nor spiritual (pneumatic) reality.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ὕλη (hūlē, "matter") +‎ -ic (“of or pertaining to”).


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  • Hence it is called hylic or material intellect, because it is like matter which in itself is nothing actual but is potentially everything, being capable of receiving any form and becoming any real object.

    A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy Isaac Husik 1907

  • They stand in a middle place, and may either rise to the spiritual or sink to the hylic level.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 14: Simony-Tournon 1840-1916 1913

  • Seth the father of all spiritual (pneumatikoi) men; in Cain and Abel the father of the psychic (psychikoi) and hylic (hylikoi) men.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI 1840-1916 1913

  • Man, the highest being in the lower world, participates in both the psychic and the hylic (material) nature, and the work of redemption consists in freeing the higher, the spiritual, from its servitude to the lower.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 15: Tournely-Zwirner 1840-1916 1913

  • For the essence of the adversary is corruption and darkness, for he is hylic and composite, (49) but the essence of the unbegotten

    A Source Book for Ancient Church History Joseph Cullen Ayer 1905

  • There was in man, or there belonged to man (1) a visible body, which {xiii} was again dichotomized, and believed to be composed, according to many of the Gnostics, of a subtle element like that of which they supposed Adam in his unfallen state was made, which they named the _hylic_ body, and

    Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries Rufus Matthew Jones 1905

  • The Valentinians, and probably many other Gnostics also, distinguished between pneumatic, psychic and hylic.

    History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) Adolph Harnack 1890

  • Gnosis and the divine life, while the others, likewise in virtue of their constitution, as hylic perish.

    History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) Adolph Harnack 1890

  • It should be noted, however, that the Valentinian, Ptolemy, ascribes freedom of will to the psychic (which the pneumatic and hylic lack), and therefore has sketched by way of by-work a theology for the psychical beside that for the pneumatic, which exhibits striking harmonies with the exoteric system of Origen.

    History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) Adolph Harnack 1890

  • For the Valentinians recognised that the common Christians were much better than the heathen, that they occupied a middle position between the "pneumatic" and the "hylic", and might look forward to a kind of salvation.

    History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7) Adolph Harnack 1890


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