noun (plural harpies)Greek & Roman Mythology
- 1A rapacious monster described as having a woman’s head and body and a bird’s wings and claws or depicted as a bird of prey with a woman’s face.More example sentences
- The harpy woman shook her wings and let out a blood curdling cry from the depths of her throat, raising goose bumps on my arms.
- Hybrid creatures, such as sphinxes, harpies, sirens, griffons and centaurs, carved on Roman sarcophagi, candelabras, altars and temple friezes, were a direct source of artistic inspiration.
- The harpy, whose name was derived from the Greek word arpazo, ‘to seize’, was a monstrous female demon of insatiable hunger, known as temptress, seductress and tormenter of victims.
- 1.1A grasping, unpleasant woman.More example sentences
- Surely this wasn't the cold-hearted harpy that had spurned my affections.
- From what we see, Clare has an intuitive sympathy with children, while Mrs Trevel, far from being a bearer of hidden wisdom, is actually a vengeful harpy.
- I feel like a heartless harpy for having these feelings, but ultimately, I feel stifled by him, nay even negated.
late Middle English: from Latin harpyia, from Greek harpuiai 'snatchers'.
More definitions of harpyDefinition of harpy in:
- The British & World English dictionary