Platonic Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

Do you have a huge crush on your long-time bestie? If you don’t say how you feel sooner rather than later, your platonic relationship may keep you in the friend zone. Not sure what the word platonic means? Don’t fret; we’ve got your back!

In this post, we’re exploring the term platonic to uncover its definition, origin, and more. So, if you’ve ever been curious as to what platonic means or how to use it properly in a sentence — keep reading. Here’s our complete guide on platonic. 

What Is the Definition of Platonic?

According to the Collins Dictionary, the word platonic (plə-ˈtä-nik) describes a relationship that is purely emotional and not physical. In other words, it’s feelings of affection that don’t involve sex.

For example, if two besties hang out all the time and aren’t sexual, they may describe their friendship as platonic. 

What Is the Origin of the Word Platonic?

Believe it or not, the word platonic (derived from theGreek Platōnikós and Latin Platōnicus) comes from the Greek philosopher Plato, who wrote about the interesting subject of love. 

That said, it wasn’t until sometime around the 15th century when a scholar named Marsillo Ficino had Plato’s Symposium in mind and coined the term amor platonicus (Latin for “platonic love”).

You see, Plato believed that if two people truly inspired each other, their spiritual or ideal love would bring them closer to God. In other words, platonic love meant ideal sympathy and was marked by the absence of physical or sexual desire. 

By the mid-18th century, the meaning behind “platonic love” began to change and was eventually degraded to the expression of maudlin sentiment between the sexes.

Fast forward to today, and the word platonic is commonly used as a modifier that means “no sex” or “no interest in sex.” 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Platonic?

To further your understanding of the word platonic, we compiled a short list of synonyms and antonyms for you to study below. 

Synonyms are words or expressions that have the same meaning as another word or expression, whereas an antonym is a word or expression of opposite meaning.


  • Friendly
  • Nonphysical
  • Nonsexual
  • Amicable
  • Chaste
  • Sexless
  • Companionable
  • Innocent
  • Intellectual
  • Neighborly
  • Spiritual
  • Idealistic
  • Ideal
  • Free of sin
  • Utopian
  • Visionary
  • Quixotic
  • Sober minded
  • Ethereal
  • Immaterial
  • Pure as the driven snow
  • Incorporeal
  • Bodiless
  • Insubstantial
  • Metaphysical
  • Asomatous
  • Unfleshly
  • Intangible
  • Numinous
  • Mystic
  • Squeaky clean
  • Matey 
  • Fraternal
  • Amiable
  • Communal
  • Chummy
  • Kind
  • Buddy buddy 


  • Passionate
  • Lascivious
  • Dirty
  • Depraved
  • Horny 
  • Gross
  • Improper 
  • Degenerate 
  • Lustful
  • Carnal
  • Debauched 
  • Erotic 
  • Corrupt
  • Crude
  • Explicit 
  • Indelicate
  • Impure 
  • Lewd 
  • Foul 
  • X-rated 
  • Sexual 
  • Romantic
  • Physical 

How Can You Use the Adjective Platonic in a Sentence?

By now, you should have a much better understanding of our word of the day, so it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test! Quiz yourself to see how many complete sentences you can conjure up properly using the word platonic. 

If you need some help to get you going, check out our example sentences listed below:

My relationship with Jenny is pretty platonic, but I am hoping to get out of the friend zone one day soon.

Did you know that the word platonic derives from an ancient Greek philosopher?

Mark realized his wife’s relationship with her colleague wasn’t platonic and demanded a divorce.

You can date Jim — our relationship is totally platonic.

Sandra values the platonic friendship that she’s had with Bob for ten years.

Do you think a relationship between a man and a woman can be platonic?

My mom won’t let me have any boys over because she doesn’t believe boys know how to be platonic.

After several years of a platonic relationship, I am happy to report that we are officially going on our very first date!

If there is no sensual desire, then your relationship is platonic.

Kyle and Cindy have a pretty platonic relationship. If you want to ask Cindy out, I really don’t think Kyle will mind.

My best friend and I used to be platonic, but we’ve recently engaged in a romantic relationship.

I don’t care if your relationship is sexual or platonic — no boys are allowed in the house, period!

I don’t have a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex, but I do have a lot of platonic friends.

Our relationship is purely platonic; there is no physical desire whatsoever.

Platonic or not, mom won’t allow Becky to stay the night.

What Are Translations of Platonic?

Now that you know all about the word platonic, you may be wondering how to say it in a different language. Worry not — we have you covered:

  • Afrikaans — platoniese
  • Arabic — أفلاطوني
  • Bulgarian — платоник
  • American English — platonic 
  • Croatian — Platonski
  • Czech — platonický
  • Brazilian Portuguese — platônico 
  • Chinese (simplified) — 柏拉图式的
  • Italian — platonico 
  • Japanese — プラトニックな
  • Korean — 정신적인
  • European Portuguese — platónico 
  • Spanish — platónico 
  • British English — platonic
  • Danish — Platonisk
  • Dutch — Platonische
  • Finnish — platoninen
  • European Spanish — platónico 
  • French — platonique 
  • Thai — สงบสุข
  • Turkish — Platonik
  • Ukrainian — платонічний
  • German — platonisch
  • Greek — πλατωνικός
  • Polish — platoniczny
  • Russian — платонический

Bottom Line

When platonic first came to light, it had a deep spiritual meaning. When our word of the day is used today, however, it commonly refers to a relationship that isn’t sensual or physical. 

In simpler terms, being platonic means having someone who loves you for who you are without involving sex — it’s an interdependent relationship that’s non-romantic. 

We hope this guide has taught you a thing or two about the meaning behind platonic. If you’d like to expand your existing vocabulary by discovering more interesting words and their definitions, head on over to our website

Whether you’re hoping to learn all about the best grammar practices or simply trying to make sense of a confusing word, you can count on us!


Platonic definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Platonic love (Chapter 8) | The Cambridge Companion to Plato

Plato on Friendship and Eros | Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy