Share this entry

naiad Line breaks: naiad
Pronunciation: /ˈnʌɪad/

Definition of naiad in English:

noun (plural naiads or naiades ˈnʌɪəˌdiːz)

1(In classical mythology) a water nymph said to inhabit a river, spring, or waterfall.
Example sentences
  • One day he inadvertently bathed in the spring of the naiad he had spurned.
  • Therefore the world of nature is no longer seen as populated by capricious supernatural beings, by fates and furies, dryads and naiads, gods of war or goddesses of sex and fertility.
  • The mermaids and naiads will recede to deep ocean or hidden lakes.
2The aquatic larva or nymph of a dragonfly, mayfly, or stonefly.
Example sentences
  • Superfluous killing has been reported for a diverse group of animals, including zooplankton, stoats and weasels, damselfly naiads, wolves, predaceous mites, and spiders.
  • The treatment pools contained either Aeshna naiads or E. perezi tadpoles; see Figure 1.
  • The sun was just setting and the lake was abuzz in dragonflies, going nuts for all the little naiads.
3A submerged aquatic plant with narrow leaves and minute flowers.
  • Genus Najas, family Najadaceae
Example sentences
  • The common kinds include the large family of pondweeds, coontail, water milfoil, water weeds, and naiads (Najas).


Via Latin from Greek Naias, Naiad-, from naein 'to flow'. Use as a term in entomology and botany dates from the early 20th century.

Words that rhyme with naiad

dryad, dyad, triad

Definition of naiad in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...