AskDefine | Define mammon

Dictionary Definition

mammon

Noun

1 wealth regarded as an evil influence
2 (New Testament) a personification of wealth and avarice as an evil spirit; "ye cannot serve God and Mammon"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Alternative spellings

Etymology

etyl arc |mamona

Noun

  1. wealth regarded as an evil influence
  2. In the context of "New Testament": a personification of wealth and avarice as an evil spirit; "ye cannot serve God and Mammon"

Extensive Definition

Mammon is used in the New Testament to describe material wealth or greed.

Definition

Webster defines 'mammon' as: 1) the false god of riches and avarice. 2) riches regarded as an object of worship and greedy pursuit; wealth as an evil, more or less personified.
The word is used in contemporary language with the same meaning in at least Finnish (mammona), Danish (mammon), Dutch ("mammon"), Hebrew (mamon), Norwegian (mammon) , Polish (mamona), Czech (mamon), Slovak (mamona), Swedish (mammon), German (Mammon) and Afrikaans (Mammon).

Etymology

Mammon is a term that was used to describe riches, avarice, and worldly gain in Biblical literature. It was personified as a false god in the New Testament. The term is often used to refer to excessive materialism or greed as a negative influence. Adjectival forms are mammonish and mammonistic
Etymologically, the word is assumed to derive from Late Latin 'mammon', from Greek 'μαμμωνάς', Syrian 'mámóna' (riches), Aramaic 'mamon' (riches), probably from Mishnaic Hebrew 'ממון (mmôn)'. Later occultist writings such as De Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal describe Mammon as Hell's ambassador to England. For Thomas Carlyle in Past and Present, the 'Gospel of Mammonism' became simply a metaphoric personification for the materialist spirit of the nineteenth century.
Mammon is somewhat similar to the Greek god Plutus, and the Roman Dis Pater, in his description, and it is likely that he was at some point based on them; especially since Plutus appears in The Divine Comedy as a wolf-like demon of wealth, wolves being associated with greed in the Middle Ages. Thomas Aquinas metaphorically described the sin of Avarice as "Mammon being carried up from Hell by a wolf, coming to inflame the human heart with Greed".

Fiction

Chrono Trigger - In the video game, a Mammon Machine is created by Queen Zeal, symbolizing immortality, greed and power. It is destroyed by the red knife later known as the Masamune.
Ragnarok Online - In this MMORPG, the character class called "Merchant" is able to learn an ability called Mammonite, which is an attack whose power is based on the amount of money you utilize when doing it.

See also

  • In Spanish culture, where Mammon is not so well known, the image used to criticize the love of wealth is the golden calf, idolized by the Israelites against the will of God.

References

External links

mammon in Danish: Mammon
mammon in German: Mammon
mammon in Spanish: Mammon
mammon in French: Mammon
mammon in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Mammona
mammon in Italian: Mammona
mammon in Georgian: მამონა
mammon in Dutch: Mammon
mammon in Japanese: マンモン
mammon in Norwegian: Mammon
mammon in Norwegian Nynorsk: Mammon
mammon in Polish: Mammon
mammon in Portuguese: Mammon
mammon in Slovenian: Mamon (Biblija)
mammon in Serbian: Мамон
mammon in Swedish: Mammon
mammon in Chinese: 玛门

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

affluence, and pence, assets, bottomless purse, bulging purse, cash, circulating medium, coinage, coined liberty, cold cash, currency, dollars, easy circumstances, embarras de richesses, emergency money, filthy lucre, fortune, fractional currency, gold, handsome fortune, hard cash, hard currency, high income, high tax bracket, independence, legal tender, lucre, luxuriousness, managed currency, material wealth, medium of exchange, mintage, money, money to burn, moneybags, necessity money, opulence, opulency, pelf, possessions, postage currency, postal currency, pounds, property, prosperity, prosperousness, riches, richness, scrip, shillings, silver, six-figure income, soft currency, specie, sterling, substance, the almighty dollar, the wherewith, the wherewithal, treasure, upper bracket, wealth, wealthiness
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