There's a verb забронзоветь in Russian formed from word "bronze" with the following meanings when applied to a person:

  1. to get a shade of bronze (like become a hero to become worthy of a bronze monument)
  2. to stop self-educating, progressing intellectually
  3. to become an idol, with shade of losing the actuality, freshness, start moving into past

Maybe English has sort of common and accepted word for this?

Note: I am looking for a term to be applied to a great, known person, like politician, philosopher or other researcher, added to all the meaning.

  • Please provide a sample sentence or two. – lbf Nov 4 '18 at 22:59
  • 2
    Maybe ossifying? – Dan Bron Nov 4 '18 at 23:09
  • @DanBron from its definitions it looks amazingly close! – Croll Nov 4 '18 at 23:15
  • @Croll Use it in good health. And of course if it’s not quite what you’re looking for, you can use it as an entry point for a thesaurus scan. – Dan Bron Nov 4 '18 at 23:16
  • According to Merriam-Webster, the adjective superannuated, means "1 : outmoded, old-fashioned 2 a : incapacitated or disqualified for active duty by advanced age," and the verb superannuate means "1 : to make declare or prove obsolete or out-of-date 2 : to retire and pension because of age or infirmity." It would seem to follow that the process of moving toward obsolescence might be termed superannuating. – Sven Yargs Nov 5 '18 at 7:03

Stagnating has a similar meaning but less positive connotations than you've described. It is less a sense of change being unnecessary as legendary status has been attained and more of an unwillingness to change due to a lack of outside influence.

Calcifying could also be used, and retains the sense of a change in material composition from the original. Whilst not commonly used outside a literal context, I have heard it used in reference to people who as they age becoming set in their world views.

  • In stagnating i see portion of additional meaning that i cannot express, but the second looks just like the real alternative and besides that this is really interesting new word, thanks. – Croll Nov 5 '18 at 0:17
  • Applied to a once great person - I do not get that sense in this answer. – lbf Nov 5 '18 at 2:02
  • @lbf fair point- whilst both of these terms could be used in that context, they are by no means exclusive to that application. – RobinHorner Nov 5 '18 at 3:00

I can't think of any single word, but the thought could be expressed in several ways:

  • He is past his best.
  • He is past his sell-by date.
  • He is resting on his laurels.
  • He is coasting.

I rather wish we did have such a word.

  • single word request. This answer should be in comments. – lbf Nov 5 '18 at 2:03

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