Nymph



[nimf] /nɪmf/

noun
1.
one of a numerous class of lesser deities of mythology, conceived of as beautiful maidens inhabiting the sea, rivers, woods, trees, mountains, meadows, etc., and frequently mentioned as attending a superior deity.
2.
a beautiful or graceful young woman.
3.
a maiden.
4.
the young of an insect that undergoes incomplete metamorphosis.
/nɪmf/
noun
1.
(myth) a spirit of nature envisaged as a beautiful maiden
2.
(mainly poetic) a beautiful young woman
3.
the immature form of some insects, such as the dragonfly and mayfly, and certain arthropods. Nymphs resemble the adult, apart from having underdeveloped reproductive organs and (in the case of insects) wings, and develop into the adult without a pupal stage
n.

late 14c., “class of semi-divine female beings,” from Old French nimphe (13c.), from Latin nympha “nymph, demi-goddess; bride, mistress, young woman,” from Greek nymphe “bride, young wife,” later “beautiful young woman,” then “semi-divine being in the form of a beautiful maiden;” related to Latin nubere “to marry, wed” (see nuptial). Sub-groups include dryads, hamadryads, naiads, nereids, and oreads. Sense in English of “young woman, girl” is attested from 1580s. Meaning “insect stage between larva and adult” is recorded from 1570s. Related: Nymphal; nymphean.
nymph
(nĭmf)
The immature form of those insects that do not pass through a pupal stage. Nymphs usually resemble the adults, but are smaller, lack fully developed wings, and are sexually immature. Compare imago, larva, pupa.

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