What does kafkaesque mean?

Definitions for kafkaesque
ˌkɑf kəˈɛskkafkaesque

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word kafkaesque.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Kafkaesqueadjective

    relating to or in the manner of Franz Kafka or his writings

  2. kafkaesqueadjective

    characterized by surreal distortion and a sense of impending danger

    "the kafkaesque terror of the endless interrogations"


  1. Kafkaesqueadjective

    Marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity.

    Kafkaesque bureaucracies

  2. Kafkaesqueadjective

    Marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger.

  3. Kafkaesqueadjective

    In the manner of something written by Franz Kafka.


  1. kafkaesque

    Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a Czech novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. It typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. It has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His best known works include the short story "The Metamorphosis" and novels The Trial and The Castle. The term Kafkaesque has entered English to describe absurd situations, like those depicted in his writing.Kafka was born into a middle-class German-speaking Czech Jewish family in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the capital of the Czech Republic. He trained as a lawyer and after completing his legal education was employed full-time by an insurance company, forcing him to relegate writing to his spare time. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close friends, including his father, with whom he had a strained and formal relationship. He became engaged to several women but never married. He died in obscurity in 1924 at the age of 40 from tuberculosis. Kafka was a prolific writer, spending most of his free time writing, often late in the night. He burned an estimated 90 per cent of his total work due to his persistent struggles with self-doubt. Few of Kafka's works were published during his lifetime: the story collections Contemplation and A Country Doctor, and individual stories (such as "The Metamorphosis") were published in literary magazines but received little public attention. In his will, Kafka instructed his literary executor and friend Max Brod to destroy his unfinished works, including his novels The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, but Brod ignored these instructions, and had much of his work published. Franz Kafka is among those artists who reached fame only after their deaths: it was only after 1945 that his work became famous in German-speaking countries, whose literature it has since greatly influenced, and in the 1960s elsewhere in the world. Kafka's work has influenced a range of writers, critics, artists, and philosophers during the 20th and 21st centuries.

How to pronounce kafkaesque?

How to say kafkaesque in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of kafkaesque in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of kafkaesque in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for kafkaesque

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for kafkaesque »


Find a translation for the kafkaesque definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"kafkaesque." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/kafkaesque>.

Discuss these kafkaesque definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for kafkaesque? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    an attendant who carries the golf clubs for a player
    • A. exacerbate
    • B. caddie
    • C. lucubrate
    • D. flub

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for kafkaesque: