The Meaning of Elysium: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of Elysium? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word Elysium, including its definition, usage, word origin, and more!

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What does the word Elysium mean?

According to Merriam-Webster and other sources such as Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Elysium is used in Greek mythology to refer to the abode of the blessed after death. This can also be used to refer to paradise, or some state or condition of ideal bliss or a state of perfect happiness. Elysium is four syllables – El-y-si-um – and the pronunciation of Elysium is ɪˈlɪzɪəm. The plural of Elysium is Elysia or Elysiums. In Ancient Greek, this is written as Ἠλύσιον πεδίον or Ēlýsion pedíon.

According to Definitions, Britannica, and Your Dictionary, in the Ancient Greek myth, the Elysian fields were considered the the final dwelling place or resting place of the souls of the heroic and the pure. According to the poet Homer’s The Odyssey, the Elysian fields or Elysian plain were located by the western edge of the Earth by the stream of Okeanos. These are also known as the Fortunate Isles or Isles of the Blessed. In some stories, they are described as a single island of shady parks on the Western ocean. The residents were said to partake in athletic and musical pastimes. The ruler of this land varies from myth to myth in each different translation –  Homer states fair-haired Rhadamanthus as the ruler of Elysium, while Pindar and Hesiod name Cronus as the ruler. Heroes and happy souls go here to the ends of the Earth to live out the remainder of their happy life. 

Elysium is also an area in the northern hemisphere of Mars and appears to be a light region when viewed from the Earth telescopically. This conception of the afterlife is still maintained by some Greek religious and philosophical sects and cults. While it was originally separated from the underworld ruled by the realm of Hades and said that only mortals who were related to gods could live there, the concept was later expanded to residents that include the righteous and heroic.

Many different languages also include words that mean Elysium. Below are several translations of Elysium, from Word Sense

  •  Latin: caelum‎ (neut.)
  •  Afrikaans: hemel‎
  •  Russian: небеса́‎ (n-p), рай‎ (masc.)
  •  Alabama: abahli iisa‎
  •  Malay: syurga‎, kayangan‎, jannah‎, jannat‎, loka‎, loga‎, sorga‎, adan‎
  •  Thai: สวรรค์‎ (sawan)
  •  French: ciel‎ (masc.), paradis‎ (masc.), au-delà‎, cieux‎ (masc. pl.)
  •  Welsh: nef‎ (fem.)
  •  Swabian: Hemmel‎
  •  Finnish: taivas‎, paratiisi‎
  •  Polish: niebo‎ (neut.), raj‎ (masc.)
  •  Maori: rangi‎
  •  Manchu: abkai tanggin‎
  •  Japanese: 天国‎ (てんごく, tengoku), 天堂‎ (てんどう, tendō), 楽園‎ (らくえん, rakuen)
  •  Sorani: به‌هه‌شت‎ (bahašt)
  •  Korean: 하늘‎, 하늘나라‎
  •  Cantonese: 天堂‎ (tin1 tong4)
  •  German: Himmel‎ (masc.)
  •  Turkish: cennet‎
  •  Hindi: स्वर्ग‎, जन्नत‎ (fem.) (Persianized contexts)
  •  Cyrillic: ра̑ј‎ (fem.)
  •  Lower Sorbian: njebjo‎ (neut.)
  •  Polabian: nebü‎ (neut.)
  •  Friulian: cîl‎ (masc.)
  •  Baluchi: جنت‎ (jannat)
  •  Yucatec Maya: ka’an‎
  •  Esperanto: ĉielo‎
  •  Luxembourgish: Himmel‎, Paradäis‎ (masc.) (n)
  •  Czech: ráj‎ (masc.)
  •  Slovak: nebo‎ (neut.)
  •  Estonian: taevas‎, paradiis‎
  •  Mandarin: 天國‎, 天国‎ (tiānguó), 天堂‎ (tiāntáng)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: nèamh‎ (masc.)
  •  Abenaki: spemki‎
  •  Latvian: debesis‎ (fem. pl.)
  •  Mongolian: диваажин‎
  •  Upper Sorbian: njebjo‎ (neut.)
  •  Maore Comorian: pev̄o‎
  •  Spanish: cielo‎ (masc.), paraíso‎ (masc.)
  •  Roman: rȃj‎ (fem.)
  •  Hijazi: جنة‎
  •  Vietnamese: thiên đường‎, thiên đàng‎
  •  Asturian: paraísu‎ (masc.)
  •  Tagalog: paraiso‎, langit‎, kalangitan‎
  •  Sanskrit: स्वर्ग‎
  •  Irish: neamh‎ (fem.)
  •  Hungarian: mennyország‎, menny‎, ég‎
  •  Syriac: ܦܪܕܝܣܐ‎
  •  Persian: بهشت‎ (behešt), مینو‎ (minu)
  •  Telugu: స్వర్గం‎
  •  Romanian: rai‎
  •  Italian: cielo‎ (masc.), paradiso‎ (masc.)
  •  Yiddish: הימל‎ (masc.), שמים‎ (shomayem)
  •  Swedish: himmel‎ (common), paradis‎ (neut.), himmelrike‎ (neut.)
  •  Lithuanian: dangus‎ (masc.), rojus‎ (masc.)
  •  Old Provençal: cel‎
  •  Pashto: جنت‎, هسك‎
  •  Catawba: himbare‎
  •  Georgian: სამოთხე‎
  •  Ngazidja Comorian: mbingu‎
  •  Haitian Creole: syèl‎
  •  Romani: rajo‎ (masc.)
  •  Slovene: nebesa‎ (n-p)
  •  Kashubian: niebò‎ (neut.)
  •  Norwegian: himmel‎ (masc.), paradis‎ (neut.), paradis‎ (pl.)
  •  Scots: heiven‎, guid place‎
  •  Azeri: cənnət‎
  •  Bulgarian: небе́‎ (neut.)
  •  Navajo: yáʼąąsh‎
  •  Portuguese: céu‎ (masc.), Paraíso‎ (masc.)
  •  Indonesian: surga‎
  •  Armenian: դրախտ‎
  •  Guinea-Bissau Creole: gloria‎
  •  Dutch: hemel‎ (masc.), paradijs‎ (neut.), hof van Eden‎ (neut.), tuin der lusten‎ (masc.)
  •  Arabic: جَنَّة‎ (fem.)
  •  Greek: παράδεισος‎ (masc.), ουράνια‎ (n-p)
  •  Hebrew: פרדיסא‎, גן־עדן‎
  •  Ngarrindjeri: Wyerriewarr‎
  •  Egyptian Arabic: الجنة‎
  •  Bashkir: ожмах‎, йәннәт‎
  •  Interlingua: celo‎, paradiso‎

What is the origin of the word Elysium?

According to Etymonline, the word Elysium has been used since the 1590s and comes from the Latin Elysium and Greek Ēlysion (pedion) meaning Elysian field. This was known as the abode of the blessed after death. This is from unknown origin, but may be from Pre-Greek or a non-Indo-European substrate of a Mediterranean language. This is also used figuratively to describe a state of bliss or complete happiness.

What are synonyms and antonyms of Elysium?

There are many different words and phrases that a person can use in place of the word Elysium. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. These are useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary or if you are looking to expand your knowledge of the English language. This list of synonyms is from Thesaurus.

  •  kingdom come
  •  seventh heaven
  •  bliss
  •  cool
  •  paradise
  •  communion
  •  afterworld
  •  delectation
  •  nirvana
  •  jubilation
  •  good spirits
  •  immortality
  •  harmony
  •  eternity
  •  enthusiasm
  •  wonderland
  •  at-oneness
  •  exaltation
  •  the blue
  •  beatitude
  •  happy hunting ground
  •  passion
  •  eternal rest
  •  glory
  •  hereafter
  •  felicity
  •  atmosphere
  •  kingdom
  •  cloud nine
  •  enchantment
  •  eternal home
  •  contentment
  •  ecstasy
  •  Shangri-la
  •  fairyland
  •  dreamland
  •  empyrean
  •  transport
  •  happiness
  •  next world
  •  sky
  •  Arcadia
  •  elation
  •  heights
  •  firmament
  •  life to come
  •  azure
  •  exhilaration
  •  Canaan
  •  great unknown
  •  ravishment
  •  utopia
  •  pearly gates
  •  euphoria
  •  spell
  •  Zion
  •  gladness
  •  cheer
  •  gratification
  •  satisfaction
  •  inspiration
  •  buoyancy
  •  joy
  •  enjoyment
  •  beyond
  •  upstairs
  •  gaiety
  •  rapture
  •  Promised Land
  •  rhapsody
  •  pleasure
  •  well-being
  •  heaven
  •  life everlasting

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning as the word elysium. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are another quick and easy way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms of Elysium is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  dashed hopes
  •  fire and brimstone
  •  trial
  •  forlornness
  •  misery
  •  sorrow
  •  limbo
  •  place of torment
  •  pain
  •  abyss
  •  discouragement
  •  tribulation
  •  dejection
  •  hell-fire
  •  suffering
  •  despondency
  •  anguish
  •  blazes
  •  difficulty
  •  pandemonium
  •  desperation
  •  ordeal
  •  despair
  •  agony
  •  torment
  •  infernal regions
  •  wretchedness
  •  purgatory
  •  disheartenment
  •  nightmare
  •  melancholy
  •  pit
  •  gloom
  •  depression
  •  lower world
  •  everlasting fire
  •  perdition
  •  hell
  •  grave
  •  inferno
  •  underworld
  •  Gehenna
  •  affliction
  •  Hades
  •  nether world
  •  Abaddon
  •  bottomless pit

Overall, the word Elysium means a delightful place, state of ideal happiness, or the seat of future happiness for living a righteous life. This mythical place and imaginary place has been written about in many religious writings and myths from Homer’s The Odyssey to works by Thebean poet Pindar in the time of the Greek oral poet Hesiod. Admission to this white isle is granted only to the worthy.


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  2. ELYSIUM Synonyms: 116 Synonyms & Antonyms for ELYSIUM | Thesaurus 
  3. elysium | Origin and meaning of elysium | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. Elysium | Definition of Elysium | Merriam-Webster 
  5. What does elysium mean? | Definitions 
  6. Elysium | Greek mythology | Britannica 
  7. Elysium Meaning | Best 9 Definitions of Elysium | Your Dictionary 
  8. heaven: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense