ocean n

      [ME occean, fr. L oceanus, fr. Gk Okeanos, a Titan who rules over the river that encircles the earth in Greek mythology] 1 a : the whole body of salt water that covers nearly three fourths of the surface of the globe b : any of the large bodies of water into which the great ocean is divided 2 : a very large or unlimited space or quantity

odyssey n

      [the Odyssey, epic poem attributed to Homer recounting the long wanderings of Odysseus, a king of Ithaca and Greek leader in the Trojan War who after the war wanders 10 years before reaching home] 1 : a long wandering or voyage usu. marked by many changes of fortune 2 : an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest

Oedipus complex n

      [L, fr. Gk Oidipous, the son of Laius and Jocasta who in fulfillment of an oracle unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother] : the positive libidinal feelings of a son toward his mother and hostile or jealous feelings toward his father that may be a source of adult personality disorder when unresolved

ogre n

      [F, prob. ultim. fr. L Orcus, god of the underworld] 1 : monster that feeds on human beings 2 : a dreaded person or object
Olympian adj
      [L, fr. Gk Olympos, a mountain in Thessaly that in Greek mythology is the abode of the gods] : lofty
Olympian n

a being of lofty detachment or superior attainments


Olympus trademark

  a photographic technology company

Orion n

  [L, fr. Gk Orion, a giant hunter slain by Artemis in Greek mythology] 1 : a constellation on the equator represented on charts by the figure of a hunter with a belt and sword 2 trademark : a motion picture production company

orphic adj

  [fr. L Orpheus, fr. Gk, poet and musician in Greek mythology who almost rescues his wife Eurydice from Hades by charming Pluto and Persephone with his lyre] 1 : mystic, oracular 2 : fascinating, entrancing
Orphism n

[Orpheus, its founder]: a mystic Greek religion offering initiates purification of the soul from innate evil and release from the cycle of reincarnation

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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