Dictionary: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


[hahr-pee] /ˈhɑr pi/

noun, plural Harpies.
Classical Mythology. a ravenous, filthy monster having a woman’s head and a bird’s body.
(lowercase) a scolding, nagging, bad-tempered woman; shrew.
(lowercase) a greedy, predatory person.
noun (pl) -pies
a cruel grasping woman
noun (pl) -pies
(Greek myth) a ravenous creature with a woman’s head and trunk and a bird’s wings and claws

late 14c., from Old French harpie (14c.), from Greek Harpyia (plural), literally “snatchers,” probably related to harpazein “to snatch” (see rapid). Metaphoric extension to “greedy person” is c.1400.

In Homer they are merely personified storm winds, who were believed to have carried off any person that had suddenly disappeared. In Hesiod they are fair-haired and winged maidens who surpass the winds in swiftness, and are called Aello and Ocypete; but in later writers they are represented as disgusting monsters, with heads like maidens, faces pale with hunger, and claws like those of birds. The harpies ministered to the gods as the executors of vengeance. [“American Cyclopædia,” 1874]


Read Also:

  • Harpy-eagle

    noun 1. a large, powerful eagle, Harpia harpyja, of tropical America: an endangered species. noun 1. a very large tropical American eagle, Harpia harpyja, with a black-and-white plumage and a head crest

  • Harquebus

    [hahr-kwuh-buh s] /ˈhɑr kwə bəs/ noun, plural harquebuses. 1. any of several small-caliber long guns operated by a matchlock or wheel-lock mechanism, dating from about 1400. /ˈhɑːkwɪbəs/ noun (pl) -buses 1. a variant of arquebus

  • Harquebusier

    [hahr-kwuh-buh-seer] /ˌhɑr kwə bəˈsɪər/ noun 1. a soldier armed with a . /ˌhɑːkwɪbəˈsɪə/ noun 1. (formerly) a soldier armed with an arquebus Also called arquebusier

  • Harrar

    [hahr-er] /ˈhɑr ər/ noun 1. . [hahr-er] /ˈhɑr ər/ noun 1. a city in E Ethiopia. /ˈhɑːrə/ noun 1. a city in E Ethiopia: former capital of the Muslim state of Adal. Pop: 96 000 (2005 est)

Disclaimer: Harpy definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.