Definition of chimera in English:


Line breaks: chi|mera
Pronunciation: /kʌɪˈmɪərə
, kɪ-/
(also chimaera)


  • 1(In Greek mythology) a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.
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    • In Greek mythology, the chimera was a fire-breathing monster that combined the parts of a goat, a lion and a serpent.
    • If we were to engineer a genuine goat/snake/lion chimera (complete with firebreathing ability) would it be in pain, or unhappy?
    • In the myth, it was Bellerophon, straddling the winged horse Pegasus, who finally slew the fire-breathing chimera.
  • 1.1Any mythical animal formed from parts of various animals.
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    • She knew that a chimera was a person or animal fused with other creatures.
    • As far as I know, a chimera is a mythological monster comprising the parts of various different animals.
    • ‘The way was guarded by lions and chimeras and manticores and logicians and other ferocious beasts,’ says Giblets.
  • 2A thing which is hoped for but is illusory or impossible to achieve: the economic sovereignty you claim to defend is a chimera
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    • Perhaps, to paraphrase Iver Neumann, it is neither digitality nor diaspora but our uses of them - much like our uses of the other - that offer a chimera of hope.
    • Unfortunately, many critics of the Times are conflating this notion of journalistic execution with the chimera of total journalistic objectivity.
    • Achieving a bipartisan consensus on pensions is not an unachievable chimera.
    illusion, fantasy, delusion, dream, fancy, figment of the imagination, will-o'-the-wisp, phantom, mirage; Latin ignis fatuus
  • 3 Biology An organism containing a mixture of genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of early embryos, grafting, or mutation: the sheeplike goat chimera
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    • Perhaps his most elegant experiment was to make aggregation chimeras of embryos from high, control, and low lines.
    • But calling this mouse a ‘chimera’ is misleading - the term should be reserved for true genetically engineered chimeras.
    • You see stem cells facilitate the production of organisms called interspecies chimeras, that is living quilts of human and animal tissues.
  • 3.1A DNA molecule with sequences derived from two or more different organisms, formed by laboratory manipulation.
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    • In all, the germline chimeras derived from these five cell lines sired 326 progeny in matings to B6 females, but no deletion-bearing offspring were observed.
    • Spontaneous SOS gene expression was measured in strain GY7109 recA carrying plasmids with different recAX chimeras.
    • Therefore, this gene is a chimera consisting of the first exon of CG11779 and the second and third exons of Adh.
  • 4 (chimaera) A cartilaginous marine fish with a long tail, an erect spine before the first dorsal fin, and typically a forward projection from the snout.
    • Subclass Hoplocephali: three families, in particular Chimaeridae.
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    • The group is divided into two very different subclasses, which separated very early on: the Elasmobranchii (sharks, skates and rays) and the Holocephali (the chimaeras, such as the ratfish and elephant fish).
    • In the living chimaeras, Callorhinchus and Chimaera, the authors were able to show the persisting boundaries between the individual teeth.
    • The feature was previously unknown in sharks and other chondrichthyans, an order of fish whose modern descendants include sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras.



Pronunciation: /-ˈmɛrɪk/
More example sentences
  • Bruce Lehman echoed Justice Potter Stewart's famous definition of obscenity when asked what he thought would constitute a chimeric human.
  • Let us hope that is the case, that it is nothing more than chimeric gloom, because this cloud is a black one indeed and very hard to dismiss in light of recent headlines.
  • Now Weissman says he is thinking about making chimeric mice whose brains are 100 percent human.


Pronunciation: /-ˈmɛrɪk(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • As a Marxist, Hathaway subscribes to the notion of sociality, a chimerical trapping of Marxist eschatology, and therefore has much invested in the idea of the social.
  • No, instead they spend their time pursuing chimerical sources and putting a fictional story on the air claiming their unimpeachable sources.
  • Attention to the chimerical task of divining a patient's early traumas is attention subtracted from sensible help in the here and now.


Pronunciation: /-ˈmɛrɪk(ə)li/
More example sentences
  • A macronuclear pointer could derive entirely from the headpointer, entirely from the tailpointer, or chimerically from both, depending on the splice location.
  • The majority of tracks clock in near the ten-minute mark and are rife with chimerically harnessed energy funneled into a myriad of outlets.
  • In this paper, I take seriously the notion that the consumption of such chimerically constructed commodities should be considered neither irrelevant nor an outrage - two common responses.


late Middle English: via Latin from Greek khimaira 'she-goat or chimera'.

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