Definition of chimera in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kʌɪˈmɪərə/
Pronunciation: /kɪˈmɪərə/
(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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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. See also rabbitfish, ratfish.
Example sentences
  • 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: /kʌɪˈmɛrɪk/
Pronunciation: /kɪˈmɛrɪk/
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: /kʌɪˈmɛrɪk(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /kɪˈmɛrɪk(ə)l/
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: /kʌɪˈmɛrɪk(ə)li/ Pronunciation: /kɪˈmɛrɪk(ə)li/
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'.

Words that rhyme with chimera

Altamira, clearer, Elvira, era, hearer, Hera, hetaera, interferer, lempira, lira, lire, Madeira, Megaera, monstera, rangatira, rearer, scorzonera, sera, shearer, smearer, sneerer, steerer, Thera, Utsire, Vera

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: chi|mera

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words