Mermaid Mer"maid, n. [AS. mere lake, sea. See {Mere} lake, and {maid}.] A fabled marine creature, typically represented as having the upper part like that of a woman, and the lower like a fish; a sea nymph, sea woman, or woman fish. [1913 Webster]

Note: Chaucer uses this word as equivalent to the siren of the ancients. [1913 Webster]

{Mermaid fish} (Zo["o]l.) the angel fish ({Squatina}).

{Mermaid's glove} (Zo["o]l.), a British branched sponge somewhat resembling a glove.

{Mermaid's head} (Zo["o]l.), a European spatangoid sea urchin ({Echinocardium cordatum}) having some resemblance to a skull.

{Mermaid weed} (Bot.), an aquatic herb with dentate or pectinate leaves ({Proserpinaca palustris} and {Proserpinaca pectinacea}). [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • mermaid — (n.) mid 14c., mermayde, lit. maid of the sea, from Middle English mere sea, lake (see MERE (Cf. mere) (n.)) + MAID (Cf. maid). Old English had equivalent merewif water witch (see WIFE (Cf. wife)), meremenn …   Etymology dictionary

  • mermaid — ► NOUN ▪ a mythical sea creature with a woman s head and trunk and a fish s tail. ORIGIN from MERE(Cf. ↑mere) (in the obsolete sense sea ) + MAID(Cf. ↑maid) …   English terms dictionary

  • mermaid — [mʉr′mād΄] n. [ME mermayde: see MERE2 & MAID] 1. an imaginary sea creature with the head and upper body of a beautiful woman and the tail of a fish 2. a girl or woman who swims well …   English World dictionary

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  • mermaid — /merr mayd /, n. 1. (in folklore) a female marine creature, having the head, torso, and arms of a woman and the tail of a fish. 2. a highly skilled female swimmer. [1300 50; ME mermayde. See MERE2, MAID] * * * ▪ legendary being masculine  merman  …   Universalium

  • mermaid — [14] A mermaid is literally a ‘seamaiden’. The word was coined on the basis of English mere [OE], which is now a little used term for ‘lake’, but originally denoted ‘sea’ (it came ultimately from Indo European *mori , *mari ‘sea’, which also… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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