1 naiad n

[ME, fr. L naiad-, naias, fr. Gk, nymphs of classical mythology living in and giving life to bodies of water] 1 : any of the aquatic young of a mayfly, dragonfly, damselfly, or stone fly 2 : any of a genus (Najas of the family Najadaceae) of submerged aquatic plants

2 Naiad n
a moon of Neptune

narcissism n
[G Narzissismus, fr. Narziss Narcissus, fr. L Narcissus, fr. Gk Narkissos, a beautiful youth in Greek mythology who pines away for love of his own reflection and is turned into the narcissus flower] 1 : egoism, egocentrism 2 : love of or sexual desire for one's own body

narcissus n
[L, fr. Gk Narkissos] : daffodil, esp: one whose flowers have a short corona and are usu. borne separately

nemertean n
[ultim. fr. Gk Nemertes Nemertes, one of the Nereids, sea nymphs of Greek mythology] : any of a phylum (Nemertea syn. Rhynchocoela) of often vividly colored marine worms most of which burrow in the mud or sand along seacoasts--called also ribbon worm

nemesis n
[L, fr. Gk, goddess of retributive justice] 1 a : one that inflicts retribution or vengeance b : a formidable and usu. victorious rival or opponent 2 a : an act or effect of retribution b : bane

1 neptune n
[L Neptunus, Roman god of the sea] : ocean

2 Neptune n
the planet 8th from the sun

neptunium n
[NL, fr. ISV Neptune] : a radioactive metallic element that is chemically similar to uranium and is obtained in nuclear reactors as a by-product in the production of plutonium

Nereid n
[NL Nereidae, fr. Nereis, a genus, fr. L, Nereid] : any of a family (Nereidae) of polychaete worms; esp: any of a genus (Nereis) of usu. large often dimorphic and greenish mostly marine worms

neritic adj
[ISV, poss. fr. L, fr. Gk Nereus, a Greek sea-god] : of, relating to, inhabiting, or constituting the belt or region of shallow water adjoining the seacoast

nestor n
[L, fr. Gk Nestor, a king of Phylos who serves in his old age as a counselor to the Greeks at Troy] : one who is a patriarch or leader in a field

night n
[ME, fr. OE niht, L noct-, nox, Gk nykt-, nyx night; assoc. with the Greek god of night, Nyx] : the time from dusk til dawn when no sun is visible

Nike trademark
[Gk Nike Goddess of victory] : a brand of athletic shoe

Niobe n
[NL, fr. L Niobe, a daughter of Tantalus who while weeping for her slain children is turned into a stone from which her tears continue to flow; fr. its occurrence in tantalite] : a girl's given name

niobium n
a lustrous light gray ductile metallic element that resembles tantalum chemically and is used in alloys

nocturnal adj
[ME, fr. MF or LL; MF, fr. LL nocturnalis, fr. L nocturnus of night, nocturnal, fr. noct-, nox night, fr. Nox] : of or pertaining to the night

nymphaeaceous adj
[fr. L nymphae(a) the water lily, fr. Gk nymphaios sacred to the nymphs, minor mythological deities portrayed as beautiful maidens inhabiting the sea, rivers, woods, trees, mountains, meadows, etc., and often mentioned as attending a superior deity] : belonging to the Nymphaeacae, or water lily family of plants

nymphaeum n
1 : a room or area having a fountain, statues, flowers, etc 2 : an architecturally treated outlet of a reservoir or aqueduct

nymphalid n
[fr. NL Nymphalid(ae) name of family, equiv. to Nymphal(is) name of genus, fr. L nymph(a) nymph] n 1 : a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, comprising the brush-footed butterflies adj 2 : belonging or pertaining to the family Nymphalidae

nympholepsy n
a frenzy of emotion, as for something unattainable, an ecstasy thought by the ancients to be caused by nymphs

nymphomania n
abnormal and uncontrollable sexual desire in women

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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