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siren

Line breaks: siren
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌɪr(ə)n
 
/

Definition of siren in English:

noun

1A device that makes a loud prolonged signal or warning sound: ambulance sirens
More example sentences
  • The piercing alarms of air raid sirens were signalling an attack.
  • The nation came to a standstill in a two-minute silence at 10.00 am, signalled by deafening air-raid sirens and traffic grinding to a halt.
  • Just then, she heard the loud blaring sound of an ambulance siren as it screamed by her vehicle, hurrying up the road in the one empty lane that had been sectioned off by orange cones.
Synonyms
alarm, alarm bell, warning bell, danger signal;
British hooter
archaic tocsin
2 Greek Mythology Each of a number of women or winged creatures whose singing lured unwary sailors on to rocks.
Example sentences
  • There was an altogether more subtle look at his show which drew on Homer and Plato's tales of sirens singing unsuspecting sailors to their deaths.
  • There was also a balcony that overlooked the ocean, where he swore that the sounds of the waves were truly mythical sirens singing him to sleep.
  • He's smart enough to avoid things like singing sirens.
2.1A woman who is considered to be alluring or fascinating but also dangerous in some way.
Example sentences
  • They've got the glossy good looks and fleeting A-list appeal to grab a famous Liam, but want to be more than lucky pop princesses turned tacky tabloid sirens.
  • It's as if she can't make up her mind whether she wants to be a siren, a vamp or a frump.
  • She is the movie's sexpot, a siren that irresistibly attracts men.
Synonyms
informal mantrap
North American informal vamp, hoochie
3An eel-like American amphibian with tiny forelimbs, no hindlimbs, small eyes, and external gills, typically living in muddy pools.
  • Family Sirenidae: genera Siren and Pseudobranchus, and three species, including the greater siren (S. lacertina)
Example sentences
  • Adults sirens are aquatic and neotenic, with lengths ranging from 4-36 inches.
  • Sirens are probably the most ancient line of salamanders now alive on planet earth.
  • I presented a captive Siren with a small crayfish once.

Origin

Middle English (denoting an imaginary type of snake): from Old French sirene, from late Latin Sirena, feminine of Latin Siren, from Greek Seirēn.

More
  • In classical mythology the Sirens were bird-women whose beautiful singing lured sailors to their doom on submerged rocks. People hear a siren song or siren call when they are attracted to something that is both alluring and potentially harmful or dangerous. In 1819 the French engineer and physicist Charles Cagniard de la Tour used siren as the name for his invention of an acoustic instrument for producing musical tones. Later in the century steamships began to use a much larger instrument on the same lines as a foghorn or warning device, and in the Second World War sirens sent people scurrying to bomb-shelters for protection from air raids. The phrase siren suit from the 1930s was from its use as a one-piece garment for women in air-raid shelters.

Phrases

siren song (or call)

1
Used in reference to the appeal of something that is alluring but also potentially harmful or dangerous: a mountaineer who hears the siren song of K2
More example sentences
  • Two minutes before curtain up, the performer hears the siren call of a proper job in a bank.
  • I have no idea what drove him to begin playing music, what siren song it used to make him devote his life to it.
  • Women are not listening to the siren call of leisure.

Words that rhyme with siren

Byron, Chiron, environ, Myron

Definition of siren in:

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