tansy n
[fr. ML athanasia, fr. GK immortality, fr. a- + thanatos death, assoc. with Thanatos, the incarnation of Death] : a common aromatic Old World herb with bitter-tasting, finely-divided leaves

tantalize v
[fr. L Tantalus a Phrygian king who for his crimes was condemned to remain in Tartarus, standing, thirsty and hungry, chin-deep in water with fruit-laden branches hanging above his head; whenever he tried to drink the water level would recede, and when he tried to eat the fruit would rise out of reach] : to tease or torment by presenting something desirable to view but keeping it continually out of reach

tantalum n
[NL, fr. L Tantalus, for its inability to absorb acid] : a hard ductile gray-white acid resisting metallic element

tantalus n
a locked cellarette with contents visible but not obtainable without a key

Tartarean adj
[L tartareus,, fr. Gk tartareios, fr. Tartaros Tartarus, the underworld in classical mythology where the wicked are punished] : infernal

telluric adj
[fr. L tellur-, tellus earth, personified in Roman mythology as Tellus, the goddess of the earth and of marriages and fertility, assoc. with the Greek Gaea] 1 : terrestrial 2 : being or relating to a natural electric current flowing near the earth's surface

tellurium n
[NL, fr. L tellus] : a semi-metallic element

tempest n
[fr. L tempestas season, weather, storm, personified in Roman mythology as the goddesses of the storm, the Tempestates] 1 : a violent storm 2 : a violent disturbance, commotion

terpsichorean adj
[fr. L, fr. Gk Terpsichore, the Muse of dancing and choral song] : pertaining to dancing

Tethys n
[L, a Titanesse, daughter of Uranus and Gaea, the wife of Oceanus and mother of the Oceanids and river gods] : a moon of Saturn

Teucrian adj
[fr. Gk Teucer, in classical mythology, the first king of Troy and son of Scamander and Idaea] adj 1 : of or pertaining to the ancient Trojans n 2 : one of the ancient Trojans

Thalassa n
[fr. Gk thalass(a) sea, the personification of the sea in classical mythology] : a satellite of Neptune

thalassic adj
1 : of or pertaining to the sea or oceans 2 : growing, living, or found in the sea; marine

thallus n
[NL, fr. Gk thallos young shoot, twig; akin to Thallo, the goddess of spring flowers] : a simple vegetative plant body undifferentiated into true leaves, stem, and body

thanatophobia n
[fr. thanatos death, personified by ancient Greeks as Thanatos] : an abnormal fear of death

thanatopsis n
a view or contemplation of death

Thebe n
[L, a daughter of Asopus and Metope who was abducted by Zeus] : a satellite of the planet Jupiter

thersitical adj
[fr. Thersites, a Greek in the Iliad known for his ugliness, deformity, and foul-mouthed, quarrelsome nature] : scurrilous; foul-mouthed; grossly abusive

Thursday n
[ME; OE Thursdaeg, fr. ODan Thursdagr, lit. Thor's day, fr. D donderdag, fr. G Donnerstag; trans. of LL dies Jovis Jove's day] : the fifth day of the week, following Wednesday

Thyestean banquet n
[fr. Thyestes Thyestes, who was, in classical mythology, the brother and rival of Atreus; he unknowingly ate the flesh of his own sons which Atreus fed to him as punishment for committing adultery with the wife of Atreus] Literary : a dinner at which human flesh is eaten

1 titan n
[fr. L, fr. Gk Titan, any of a family of giants born of Uranus and Gaea and ruling the earth until overthrown by the Olympian gods] : a person or thing of enormous size, strength, power, influence, etc.

2 Titan n
a moon of Saturn once thought to be the largest in the solar system

titanic adj
having great power, magnitude, or force; colossal

titanism n
[fr. the Titans' rebellion against their father Uranus] : defiance of and revolt against social or artistic conventions

titanium n
a dark gray or silvery, lustrous, very hard, light chemical element

titanosaur n
any amphibious, herbivorous dinosaur of the genus Titanosaurus, from the Cretaceous period

tithonia n
[NL, fr. L Tithonia, poetical name for Aurora taken from the name of her beloved, Tithonus, who asked of Aurora to become immortal, but finding himself immortally old, he asked her to take back the gift and was transformed into a grasshopper] : any of a genus (Tithonia) of tall composite herbs or shrubs that have flower resembling sunflowers

Triton n
[L, fr. Gk Triton, a son of the sea god Neptune and Amphitrite, represented as having the head and trunk of a man and the tail of a fish, and as using a conch shell as a trumpet] 1 : any of various large marine gastropod mollusks of the family Trotinidae with a heavy elongated conical shell; also: the shell 2 : the largest satellite of Neptune

[ME triumphe, fr. L triumphus; cf. Gk thriambos Dionysiac procession] n 1 : the act of being victorious 2 : a significant success v 3 : to gain a victory 4 : to be successful

trivia n
[fr. L trivialis belonging to the crossroads, (hence) common; assoc. with Trivia, or Hecate, the Roman goddess of the crossroads] : matters or things that are very unimportant or inconsequential

Tuesday n
[ME tewesday, OE tiwesdaeg, orig, phrase Tiwes daeg Tiw's day, translating L dies Martis day of Mars] : the third day of the week

tychism n
[fr. Gk tyche luck, assoc. with Tyche, the Greek goddess of fortune] : the theory that chance has objective existence in the universe

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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