Definition of nymph in English:

nymph

Line breaks: nymph
Pronunciation: /nɪmf
 
/

noun

1A mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations: the idyllic world of nymphs and shepherds a wood nymph
More example sentences
  • Nijinsky's was about a mythological creature who encounters nymphs in a wood on a summer afternoon.
  • Zeus freed Odysseus from the nymph Calypso, who held him prisoner on her island, by sending Mercury with an order to Calypso herself.
  • Enter Paris, a shepherd in a rather creative marriage with the mountain nymph Oenone.
Synonyms
1.1chiefly literary A beautiful young woman.
Synonyms
young woman, young lady;
Scottish & Northern English lass, lassie;
Irish colleen
British dated rosebud
literary maid, maiden, damsel
archaic demoiselle
2An immature form of an insect that does not change greatly as it grows, e.g. a dragonfly, mayfly, or locust. Compare with larva.
More example sentences
  • The bulk of the diet of trout is made up of small invertebrates, particularly mayfly nymphs and caddis fly larvae.
  • The afternoon of pond-dipping will be divided between two of Oakwell's ponds and visitors can expect to see anything from sticklebacks and frogs to diving beetles and dragonfly nymphs.
  • As a grasshopper nymph grows, the pads become longer and venation becomes evident.
2.1An artificial fishing fly made to resemble the aquatic nymph of an insect.
More example sentences
  • To be a successful all-round grayling angler you need a selection of dry flies, nymphs and wet flies.
  • A selection of nymphs and dry flies such as beaded pheasant tail, damsel and dragon fly nymphs all will all work.
  • When fishing in Swedish Lapland I have used some awesome looking stone fly nymphs which the grayling eat with relish.
3A mainly brown butterfly that frequents woods and forest glades.
More example sentences
  • The Malabar Tree Nymph (Idea malabarica) is a large butterfly found in peninsular India that belongs to the danaid group of the family Nymphalidae.
  • When you visit the Butterfly Wing, one of the most remarkable butterflies you will see is the giant wood nymph, Idea leuconoe.
  • The Ceylon tree nymph is a beautiful silvery white butterfly (2) and is the largest member of the Danaidae family in Sri Lanka.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French nimphe, from Latin nympha, from Greek numphē 'nymph, bride'; related to Latin nubere 'be the wife of'.

Derivatives

nymphal

adjective
More example sentences
  • Treatments began on 28 July, later than in the 1996 experiment because nymphal hatching was delayed (probably a result of an exceptionally cold spring).
  • In September, uninfected survivors (both males and females) were all adults while collaborative females typically retained a nymphal phenotype.
  • In insects, the general view is that juvenile hormone maintains larval and nymphal characteristics in developing insects and suppresses metamorphosis into adults.

nymphean

Pronunciation: /-ˈfiːən/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Indeed, if anything, Pera takes too much of Humbert's version for granted -- particularly Lolita's ‘nymphean evil.’
  • Her husband is accused of child-molesting, her brother is a lush who has got the maid pregnant, one of her daughters is 'wrong in the head', while the other is scampering through puberty towards nymphean alcoholism.

nymph-like

adjective
More example sentences
  • I was having an interesting conversation with a girl but nobody had warned me that the her nymph-like looks were complemented by the Irish surname O'Maniac.
  • On this album, Nona's nymph-like voice is accompanied by a small number of instruments, usually a guitar.
  • She'd been a tiny, exquisite, nymph-like child, and when I saw her she was a large, composed woman.

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