from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Greek Mythology The son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who became united in one body with the nymph Salmacis.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the son of Hermes and Aphrodite who merged bodies with a naiad.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (Greek mythology) son of Hermes and Aphrodite who merged with the nymph Salmacis to form one body
I've already incorporated a great deal of Ovid's Metamorphoses — — the story of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus from the fourth book.
The proper name "Hermaphroditus" refers us back to another tale from The Metamorphoses in which latency proves to be destiny.
Already bearing the stitched together names of his famously libidinal parents Hermes and Aphrodite, "Hermaphroditus," at fifteen years old, has no interest in awakening to sexual desire: the plot turns on his refusal of the nymph Salmacis, whose pool
"Hermaphroditus" (the only time it is named) it spreads its wings and flies her upstream, where she and the poem abandon it (xliii).
Such was his extravagant commendation, and, consequently, his hearty approbation of a most unnatural production, "Hermaphroditus," which ultimately received the censure of the author himself, who was ashamed that he had written it, as shown in the following epigram preserved by Cardinal
She was also the mother of Hermaphroditus with Mercury (Hermes), Priapus with Dionysus (Bacchus), and Beroe (after whom the city Berytus in Lebanon was named) with Adonis.
Hermaphroditus, the son of Aphrodite and Hermes, is a hermaphrodite, giving his name to those whose physiology incorporates both a penis and female breasts.
Salmacis would not be seen of Hermaphroditus, till she had spruced up herself first,
He searches into the history of Priapus and Hermaphroditus.
And yet — like Ovid's Hermaphroditus, whose flaunted unavailability incites the nymph Salmacis, and like the beautiful slumbering figure Shelley admired in the Villa Borghese,  the Witch's Image is lovely, "surpassing" the beauty of
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.