Definitions for procrustesproʊˈkrʌs tiz

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word procrustes

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Procrustes(noun)

    (Greek mythology) a mythical giant who was a thief and murderer; he would capture people and tie them to an iron bed, stretching them or hacking off their legs to make them fit; was killed by Theseus


  1. Procrustes(ProperNoun)

    A celebrated legendary highwayman of Attica, who tied his victims upon an iron bed, and, as the case required, either stretched or cut off their legs to adapt them to its length.

  2. Origin: From Προκρούστης

Webster Dictionary

  1. Procrustes(noun)

    a celebrated legendary highwayman of Attica, who tied his victims upon an iron bed, and, as the case required, either stretched or cut of their legs to adapt them to its length; -- whence the metaphorical phrase, the bed of Procrustes

  2. Origin: [L., fr. Gr. , fr. to beat out, to stretch; forward + to strike.]


  1. Procrustes

    In Greek mythology, Procrustes or "the stretcher [who hammers out the metal]", also known as Prokoptas or Damastes "subduer", was a rogue smith and bandit from Attica who physically attacked people by stretching them or cutting off their legs, so as to force them to fit the size of an iron bed. In general, when something is Procrustean, different lengths or sizes or properties are fitted to an arbitrary standard.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Procrustes

    a brigand of ancient Attica, who when any one fell into his hands placed him on a bed, stretching him out if he was too short for it and amputating him if he was too long till he died; he was one day overpowered by Theseus, who tortured him to death as he had done his own victims; his practice has given name to any attempt to enforce conformity by violent measures.

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

    Doubtless criticism was originally benignant, pointing out the beauties of a work rather that its defects. The passions of men have made it malignant, as a bad heart of Procrustes turned the bed, the symbol of repose, into an instrument of torture.


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