Definition of argus in English:


Syllabification: ar·gus
Pronunciation: /ˈärgəs


  • 1 (Argus) Greek Mythology A monster with a hundred eyes, used by Hera to watch over Io. He was killed by Hermes, and Hera then used his eyes to deck the peacock’s tail.
    More example sentences
    • Hera appointed her servant Argus to guard the cow, and Hermes, at Zeus' command, killed Argus.
    • In Prometheus Bound, Argus is the child of Gaia, but Ovid is silent on the issue of Argus's lineage.
    • Ovid describes Argus with one hundred eyes in his head, but an Attic vase (c. 490 BCE) depicts Argus with eyes all over his body.
  • 1.1An alert, watchful guardian.
  • 2 (also argus pheasant) A long-tailed pheasant with generally brown plumage, found in Southeast Asia and Indonesia.
    • Two species in the family Phasianidae: the male great argus (Argusianus argus) has lengthened secondary wing feathers bearing eyespots, spread during display; the crested argus (Rheinartia ocellata) has the longest tail feathers of any bird
    More example sentences
    • Male argus pheasants impress with an involved dance, spreading their wings to form a saucer for a finale.
    • There are also gibbons, leaf monkeys, jungle cats, forest deer, otter, hornbills and argus pheasants.
    • Though the argus pheasant is not as colorful as its relatives the peacock and the palawock pheasant, it is still an interesting looking bird.
  • 3A small brown or bluish Eurasian butterfly that typically has eyelike markings near the wing margins.
    • Aricia and other genera, family Lycaenidae
    More example sentences
    • The areas often support many rare or uncommon species such as northern brown argus butterflies and wood bitter vetch.
    • Several species of the Argus Butterfly exist but the Eden Argus exists nowhere else than in Castle Eden Dene.
    • The caterpillar of the Argus Butterfly feeds almost exclusively on the leaves of the rock rose.
  • 4 (also argus fish) A silvery deep-bodied fish with round spots, widely distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region in both fresh and salt water.
    • Scatophagus argus, family Scatophagidae
    More example sentences
    • Bruce holds the Nikonos at arm's length to snap his own picture while feeding an argus fish.
    • Scatophagus argus (Argus Fish, Spotted Scat) are sensitive to nitrites.
    • The best-known species, the scat, or argus fish is a popular freshwater aquarium fish when small.


late Middle English: from Latin, from Greek Argos, the name of the mythical watchman with a hundred eyes.

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