All Words > Telic

Friday, May 13



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Greek, mid-19th century


(Of an action or attitude) directed or tending to a definite end.


[Linguistics] (of a verb, conjunction, or clause) expressing goal, result, or purpose.

Examples of Telic in a sentence

"The task force had a concrete, telic goal."

"The support group did not have a telic purpose; it was meant to provide comfort."

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About Telic

This word comes from Biblical philology. It stems from the Greek “telikos,” meaning "final," originally from “telos,” meaning "end, goal, result."

Did you Know?

British psychologist Michael Apter’s studies led him to the conclusion that human motivation falls into two primary states: “telic” and “paratelic.” In the telic mode, a person is mostly motivated by a specific goal, like earning a paycheck for completed work. This is also called extrinsic motivation. In the paratelic state, a person is motivated by the activity itself, which is also known as intrinsic motivation.

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