We must raise $643 by March 31st to pay critical bills. Essential to continue our mission. Donate now!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

HYLOMORPHISM

The theory that all physical beings are composed of two principles of being: the prime matter, which is an undefined primitive, and a substantial form, which is a definite mode of existence. The two principles are related to each other as potency and act. This theory, which St. Thomas adopted from Aristotle, is based on two features that characterize all material things: the changeableness and the different individuals of a species. Both features can be explained only on the supposition that material things in their deepest nature are composed of two ultimate elements: prime matter, which remains constant in any change and gives individuality to each being; and substantial form, which accounts for the actual existence of different things, their distinctive properties, and the profound alteration that takes place when one substance changes into another. (Etym. Greek hyl_, matter + morphe, contour, form.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis March 27
Our Most Characteristic Vice? March 27
Recognizing the Noonday Devil March 27
Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? March 27
Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women March 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13