noun Etymology: Middle English Phitonesse, from Middle French pithonisse, from Late Latin pythonissa, from Greek Pythōn, spirit of divination, perhaps from Pythō, seat of the Delphic oracle Date: 14th century 1. a woman who practices divination 2. a prophetic priestess of Apollo • pythonic adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pythoness — Pyth o*ness, n. [L. pythonissa: cf. F. pythonisse. See {Pythian}.] 1. (Gr. Antiq.) The priestess who gave oracular answers at Delphi in Greece. [1913 Webster] 2. Any woman supposed to have a spirit of divination; a sort of witch. Bp. Hall. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pythoness — late 14c., woman with the power of soothsaying, from O.Fr. phitonise (13c.), from L.L. pythonissa, used in Vulgate of the Witch of Endor (I Sam. xxviii. 7), and often treated as her proper name, lit. fem. of pytho familiar spirit; which… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pythoness — [pī′thə nis] n. [ME phitonesse < MFr phitonise < ML phytonissa < LL(Ec) pythonissa < Gr Pythōn < Pythō: see PYTHIAN] 1. a priestess of Apollo at Delphi 2. any woman soothsayer; prophetess …   English World dictionary

  • Pythoness — noun The priestess of the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The office of Pythoness appears not to have been desirable. Either the emanations from the cavern, or some art of the managers, threw her into real convulsions. Priests entitled prophets led… …   Wiktionary

  • pythoness — noun a) A female soothsayer On the fifteenth of January, it was discovered that the pythoness had excluded rather more than a hundred dirty white, leathery looking eggs. b) A female python …   Wiktionary

  • pythoness — /puy theuh nis, pith euh /, n. 1. a woman believed to be possessed by a soothsaying spirit, as the priestess of Apollo at Delphi. 2. a woman who practices divination. [1325 75; PYTHON2 + ESS; r. ME phytonesse < MF] Usage. See. ess. * * * …   Universalium

  • PYTHONESS —    the priestess of APOLLO AT DELPHI (q.v.), so called from the PYTHON (q.v.), the dragon slain by the god …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • pythoness — noun archaic a woman believed to be possessed by a spirit and to be able to foresee the future. Origin ME: from OFr. phitonise, from an alt. of late L. pythonissa, based on Gk puthōn soothsaying demon ; cf. Pythian …   English new terms dictionary

  • pythoness — pytho·ness …   English syllables

  • pythoness — py•tho•ness [[t]ˈpaɪ θə nɪs, ˈpɪθ ə [/t]] n. a woman believed to be possessed by a soothsaying spirit • Etymology: 1350–1400; ME phytonesse (< MFphitonise) < MLphitōnissa, LL (Vulgate)pȳthōnissa, fem. der. ofpȳthōn< Gkpneûma… …   From formal English to slang

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”