Hades n
[Gk Haides, the underground abode of the dead in Greek mythology] : Hell

hadal adj
[F, fr. Hades, Hades] : of, relating to, or being the parts of an ocean below 6000 meters

halcyon n
[fr. Gk Alkyone, daughter of Aeolus, king of the winds, who forbade his winds to blow across the sea for fourteen days to honor his dead daughter, who was turned into a kingfish] : a kingfisher

Halcyon Days n
[fr. Gk Alkyone, corres. to the fourteen windless days in the legend] : the seven days before and after the winter solstice

harpy n
[L Harpyia, fr. Gk, a foul creature that is part woman and part bird] 1 a : a predatory person : leech b : a shrewish woman

harpy eagle n
a large powerful crested eagle (Harpia harpyja) of Central and So. America

1hector n
[L, fr. Gk Hektor, Trojan champion slain by Achilles] 1 : bully, braggart 2 : to play the bully : to intimidate by bluster or personal pressure

2Hector n
a boy's given name

Helen n
[fr. Gk, the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Leda and wife of Menelaus whose kidnapping by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War] : a girl's given name

helium n
[NL, fr. Gk helios sun, personified by the god of the sun Helios] : a light, colorless gaseous element

Hellene n, adj
[Gk Hellen, son of Deucalion and ancestor of the Greeks]: Greek

hellenize v
to become Greek or Hellenistic

Hellespont n
[ancient name of the Dardanelles, fr. Helle Helle, who, while escaping from her stepmother with her brother Phrixus, fell into this body of water and drowned] : a strait connecting the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marma

herculean adj
[L, fr. Gk Herakles, a mythical Greek hero renowned for his great strength and for performing the 12 labors imposed on him by Hera] : of extraordinary power, extent, intensity, or difficulty

Hercules n
a large N constellation between Ophiuchus and Draco

Hercules'-club n
1 : a small prickly eastern U.S. tree (Aralia spinosa) of the ginseng family -- called also angelica tree 2 : a small prickly southern U.S. tree (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) of the rue family

herm n
[L hermes, fr. Gk hermes statue of Hermes, fr. Hermes] : a statue in the form of a square stone pillar surmounted by a bust or head, esp. of Hermes

hermaphrodite n
[ME hermofrodite, fr L hermaphroditus, fr. Gk hermaphroditos, fr. Hermaphroditos, the son of Aphrodite and Hermes who merged into one form with the nymph Salmacis] : an animal or plant bearing both male and female reproductive organs

hermeneutics n
[Gr hermeneutikos, from the the name of the Greek god Hermes, god of science, commerce, cunning, and eloquence] : the art or science of the interpretation of literature

hermetic adj
1 : magical; alchemic; obscure; difficult to understand 2 : airtight

hesperidin n
[NL hesperidium orange, fr. L Hesperides, nymphs in classical mythology who guard a garden in which golden apples grow] : a crystalline glycoside found in most citrus fruits

hesperidium n
[NL] : a berry (as an orange or lime) having a leathery rind

Hesperus n
[ME, fr. L, fr. Gk Hesperos, god of evening] : the evening star

hesperian adj
western, occidental

hippocampus n
[L, fr. Gk hippokampus, hippo horse + kampos sea monster, a sea horse in Greek mythology with two forefeet and a body ending in the tail of a dolphin or fish] 1 : Anatomy, an enfolding of cerebral cortex into the lateral fissure of a cerebral hemisphere having the shape in cross section of a sea horse 2 : Capitalized, a genus of fish

hyacinth n
[L hyacinthus a flowering plant, fr. Gk hyakinthos, which according to mythology comes from the name of Hyacinthus, a youth loved by Apollo, who grows this flower in memoriam from the boy's blood after accidentally killing him] : a bulbous herb (Hyacinthus orientalis) of the lily family grown for its dense spikes of fragrant flowers

1hydra n
[L, fr. Gk hydra water serpent, a water serpent in classical mythology with nine heads, each of which, if cut off, would grow back as two] 1 : any fresh-water polyp of the genus Hydra 2 : a persistent or many-sided problem that presents new obstacles as soon as one aspect is solved

2Hydra n
the Sea Serpent, a large southern constellation

hygiene n
[NL hygieina, fr. Gk hygieinos, fr. hygies, poss. fr. Hygeia Hygeia, the Greek goddess of health] 1 : a science of the establishment and maintenance of health 2 : conditions or practices conducive to health

hymeneal n
[L hymenaeus wedding song, wedding, fr. Gk hymenaios, fr. Hymen, Greek god of marriage] 1 : nuptial 2 : a wedding song

hymn n
[ME ymne, fr. OE ymen, fr. L hymnus song of praise, fr. Gk hymnos; assoc. with Polyhymnia, the Muse of mime] 1 : a song of praise to God 2 : a song of praise or joy

Hyperion n
[fr. L, fr. Gk Hyperion, a Titan, the father of Helios, Selene, and Eos] 1 : one of the moons of Saturn 2 trademark : a book publishing company

hypnosis n
[fr. Gk hypnos sleep, assoc. with Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep] : an artificially induced condition resembling sleep

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Notes on Textual Abbreviations


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An Etymological Dictionary of Classical Mythology by Elizabeth W. Kraemer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Last updated 1/13/14