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

  • adjective Resembling a koan or some aspect of one: cryptic, concise, thought-provoking, etc.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

koan +‎ -like


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  • Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny’s old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man.

    Patrick Dempsey Finds The Art of Racing in the Rain | Fused Film 2009

  • How intriguing to come across the occasional koanlike questions ( "Where is the heaven of lost stories?"), reminiscent of Neruda's "The Book of Questions."

    Book review: 'The Dreamer,' written by Pam Munoz Ryan; illustrated by Peter Sis 2010

  • That philosophy translates into a desire to find the middle ground between free-market capitalism and egalitarianism, but that message gets easily lost in the koanlike rhetoric.

    The Real Yukio Hatoyama 2009

  • What that meant, in the koanlike rhetoric of Chinese politics, was that if private enterprise works, we'll try it.

    Thank You, G2 2009

  • The story of a WWII bombardier invented a koanlike "catch" in military regulations: war is crazy, but if you seek to opt out, you're sane -- and can't opt out.

    Transition: Darkly Comic 2008

  • Louima himself, in critical condition and severe pain, seemed to be orchestrating the dramas around him with aloof, koanlike statements to politicians and the occasional reporter.

    Incident in the 70th Precinct Brenner, Marie 1997


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