noun (plural harpies) Etymology: Latin Harpyia, from Greek Date: 1513 1. capitalized a foul malign creature in Greek mythology that is part woman and part bird 2. a. a predatory person ; leech b. a shrewish woman

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Harpy — Har py (h[aum]r p[y^]), n.; pl. {Harpies} ( p[i^]z). [F. harpie, L. harpyia, Gr. a rpyia, from the root of arpa zein to snatch, to seize. Cf. {Rapacious}.] 1. (Gr. Myth.) A fabulous winged monster, ravenous and filthy, having the face of a woman… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • harpy — [här′pē] n. pl. harpies [MFr harpie < L harpyia < Gr harpyiai, pl., lit., snatchers < harpazein, to snatch < IE * serp < base * ser , sickle, curved hook > L sarpere, to prune] 1. [H ] Gr. Myth. any of several hideous, filthy,… …   English World dictionary

  • harpy — late 14c., from O.Fr. harpie (14c.), from Gk. Harpyia (pl.), lit. snatchers, probably related to harpazein to snatch (see RAPID (Cf. rapid)). Metaphoric extension to greedy person is c.1400. In Homer they are merely personified storm winds, who… …   Etymology dictionary

  • harpy — ► NOUN (pl. harpies) 1) Greek & Roman Mythology a rapacious monster usually depicted with a woman s head and body and a bird s wings and claws. 2) a grasping, unscrupulous woman. ORIGIN Greek harpuiai snatchers …   English terms dictionary

  • Harpy — For other uses, see Harpy (disambiguation). Harpy Mythology Greek Grouping Legendary creature Sub grouping Hybrid …   Wikipedia

  • Harpy — harpylike, adj. /hahr pee/, n., pl. Harpies. 1. Class. Myth. a ravenous, filthy monster having a woman s head and a bird s body. 2. (l.c.) a scolding, nagging, bad tempered woman; shrew. 3. (l.c.) a greedy, predatory person. [ < L Harpyia, sing.… …   Universalium

  • harpy — har|py [ˈha:pi US ˈha:rpi] n plural harpies [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: Harpy name of a creature in ancient Greek stories with the head of a woman and the body of a bird (16 21 centuries), from Greek harpyia seizer ] 1.) literary a cruel woman 2.)… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • harpy — UK [ˈhɑː(r)pɪ] / US [ˈhɑrpɪ] noun [countable] Word forms harpy : singular harpy plural harpies 1) offensive an insulting name for a woman who you think is unpleasant 2) a cruel creature in ancient Greek stories, with a bird s body and a woman s… …   English dictionary

  • harpy — Synonyms and related words: Argus, Briareus, Cerberus, Charybdis, Cyclops, Echidna, Gorgon, Harpy, Hydra, Loch Ness monster, Medusa, Minotaur, Pegasus, Python, Scylla, Sphinx, Talos, Typhon, Xanthippe, amazon, blackmailer, bloodsucker, centaur,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • harpy — [[t]hɑ͟ː(r)pi[/t]] harpies 1) N COUNT: usu pl, oft the N In classical mythology, the harpies were creatures with the bodies of birds and the faces of women. They flew quickly and were cruel and greedy. 2) N COUNT (disapproval) If you refer to a… …   English dictionary

  • Harpy — /ˈhapi/ (say hahpee) noun (plural Harpies) Greek Legend a rapacious and filthy monster having a woman s head and a bird s body. {Latin harpȳia, from Greek: literally, snatcher} …   Australian English dictionary

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