1. (in ancient Greece) an official expounder of rites of worship and sacrifice.
  2. any interpreter of sacred mysteries or esoteric principles; mystagogue.


  1. (in ancient Greece) an official high priest of religious mysteries, esp those of Eleusis
  2. a person who interprets and explains esoteric mysteries

“expounder of sacred mysteries,” 1670s, from Late Latin hierophantes, from Greek hierophantes “one who teaches the rites of sacrifice and worship,” literally “one who shows sacred things,” from hieros “sacred” (see ire) + phainein “to reveal, bring to light” (see phantasm). In modern use, “expounder of esoteric doctrines,” from 1822.

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