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(in Irish folklore) a spirit in the form of a wailing woman who appears to or is heard by members of a family as a sign that one of them is about to die.
(in Irish folklore) a female spirit whose wailing warns of impending death

1771, from phonetic spelling of Irish bean sidhe “female of the Elves,” from bean “woman” (from PIE *gwen-; see queen) + sidhe, from sith “fairy” or sid “fairy mound.” Specifically, one who calls to the spirits of the dead.


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