Chtho"ni*an (?), a. [Gr. &?; in or under
the earth, fr. &?;, &?;, earth.]
Designating, or pertaining to,
gods or spirits of the underworld; esp., relating to the underworld
gods of the Greeks, whose worship is widely considered as more
primitive in form than that of the Olympian gods. The characteristics
of chthonian worship are propitiatory and magical rites and
generalized or euphemistic names of the deities, which are supposed to
have been primarily ghosts.
© Webster 1913.