herm-, herme-

(Greek: Hermes, the son of Zeus and Maia, the god of commerce and messenger of the gods in Greek mythology; identified by the Romans as Mercury; however, some of the words in this unit come from Hermes tris megistos, Hermes Trismegistus, literally, "Hermes, Thrice the Greatest" referring to the Egyptian god Thoth, who was identified with the Greek god Hermes, of science and arts)

herm (s) (noun); herms, hermae (pl)
A rectangular, often tapering stone post bearing a carved head or bust, usually of Hermes: The hermae were used as boundary markers in ancient Greece and Rome; as well as, decorative ornaments in classical architecture and during later times by other societies.
Hermanubis (s) (noun) (no plural form)
In classical mythology, a god who combined Hermes (Greek mythology) with Anubis (Egyptian mythology): Hermanubis was popular during the period of Roman domination.

Described as having a human body and jackal head, with the sacred caduceus that belonged to the Greek god Hermes, Hermanubis represented the Egyptian priesthood and was the son of Osiris and Nephthys.

hermaphrodite (s) (noun), hermaphrodites (pl)
1. An animal or plant having both male and female reproductive organs: Hermaphrodites are organisms; such as, earthworms or flowering plants, having both male and female reproductive organs in a single individual.
2. Etymology: through Middle English, hermofrodite, from the Latin element hermaphroditus, which came from Greek hermaphroditos, from Hermaphroditos, the son of Aphrodite and Hermes (Latin: Mercury and Venus) who merged into one form or became joined in body with the nymph Salmacis.
hermaphroditic, hermaphroditical (adjective) (not comparable)
Relating to those creatures that have the sex organs of both genders in one body: There are several hermaphroditic animals or plants that contain both male and female reproductive systems.
hermaphroditism, hermaphrodism (s) (nouns)
Consisting of bodily organs of both genders: In nature, hermaphroditism consists of the presence of both male and female reproductive organs in a plant or animal, as in an earthworm or a monoecious plant.

When hermaphroditism exists in humans and animals, male and female reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics are both present in the same individual.

hermeneutic (adjective), more hermeneutic, most hermeneutic
1. A reference to that which is explanatory: The hermeneutic theologian, Mr. Henderson, was interpreting passages from a sacred book.
2. Etymology: from Greek hermeneutikos, "of interpreting"; from hermeneuein, "to interpret"; and from hermeneus, "interpreter" all of which are "based on Hermes in Greek mythology, who served as a messenger and herald for other gods, and who himself was the god of eloquence, commerce, invention, cunning, and theft."
hermeneutical (adjective) (not comparable)
Relating to or referring to the interpretations of religious concepts: Dr. Dawson, the hermeneutical professor, was a scholar of the theories and explanations of religious writings; especially, holy texts.
hermeneutically (adverb), more hermeneutically, most hermeneutically
Descriptive of interpreting or explaining something: Philosophies and religions are just two examples of what can be hermeneutically interpreted, which is believed to be based on the concept that the Greek god Hermes served to explain messenges for the gods and any concepts that applied to humans.
hermeneutics (s) (noun) (plural form used in the singular)
1. The art or science of literary interpretations: Originally hermeneutics was understood to be the branch of Theology concerned with exegesis or an explanation that helps people understand a piece of writing; especially, sacred writings; then it became the designation for a discipline within a philosophy concerned with study of interpretation of more general concepts.
2. The theory and methodology of interpretation; especially, of scriptural texts: Hermeneutics is also described as the development and study of the theories of the interpretation and the understanding of philosophical publications.
hermeneutist (s) (noun), hermeneutists (pl)
Someone who interprets literary or scriptural texts: Adam was a well-known hermeneutist of theology at the university.
Hermes (s) (noun) (no plural form)
The son of Zeus and Maia, the god of commerce and messenger of the gods in Greek mythology; equivalent to the Roman god Mercury: Hermes was the patron of athletes, thieves, and trade, and he was usually shown with wings on his cap and sandals; in addition, Hermes was described as the god who also served as messenger, scribe, and herald for the other gods.
Hermes Trismegistus (s) (noun) (no plural form)
1. A name variously ascribed by Neoplatonists and others to an Egyptian priest or to the Egyptian god Thoth, to some extent identified with the Grecian Hermes: Various mystical, religious, philosophical, astrological, and alchemical writings were ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus.
2. The Hellenistic Hermes, Egyptianized through contact with the Egyptian Thoth: Trismegistos is derived from the Egyptian superlative obtained through repetition where Hermes appears as "Great, Great, Great" on the Rosetta stone; which was later simplified through the substitution of the prefix "tris" in the Roman period.

Hermes Trismegistus is said to have been the author of 42 "fundamental books" of Egyptian religion, including astrological, cosmological, geographical, medical, and pedagogic (teaching) books as well as hymns to the gods and instructions on how to worship.

—The contents of entry #2 was compiled from information located in
The Oxford Classical Dictionary edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth;
Oxford University Press; Oxford, England; 2003; page 691.
Hermes, messenger of the Greek gods, who became Mercury, messenger of the Roman gods
See this Roman god, Mercury and his connections with the planets.
hermetic (adjective), more hermetic, most hermetic
1. Completely sealed, especially against the escape or entry of air: Identified by Neoplatonists, mystics, and alchemists with the Egyptian god Thoth as "Hermes Trismegistos", "Thrice-Great Hermes", is credited with inventing the process of making a glass tube airtight (a process in alchemy) using a secret seal; and from his name the adjective hermetic, meaning "airtight", was derived.

There are hermetic materials that are made airtight by means of fusion or sealing.

2. Impervious to outside interferences or protected from outside influences: The hermetic confines of an isolated life may lead to misery.

The religious group lived in a hermetic society.

3. Having to do with the occult sciences, especially alchemy; magical; alchemic; obscure; difficult to understand: In the seventeenth century, English hermetic meant "pertaining to alchemy" and the occult sciences in general. Alchemy, and later chemistry, was itself known as the hermetic art, philosophy, or science.
4. Etymology: from New Latin, the adjective hermeticus was formed from the name of the god Hermes Trismegistos, and the English borrowed this term from New Latin."
hermetic motor (s) (noun), hermetic motors (pl)
An engine that is used to operate a refrigerator: A compressor driven by a hermetic motor has the advantage of the compressor shaft not having to pass through a seal between the outer environment and the refrigerant medium inside the chiller.