American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Greek Mythology A king who for his crimes was condemned in Hades to stand in water that receded when he tried to drink, and with fruit hanging above him that receded when he reached for it.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. [lowercase] A case containing decanters. It is locked so that the decanters are in plain sight, yet the contents cannot be removed without the owner's key.
- n. The leading genus of Tantalinæ, now generally separated into two. The Old World form is Tantalus ibis, with several related species, of Africa, Asia, and the East Indies. The only American representative is T. loculator, the wood-ibis of the southern United States and southward. It is known in Arizona and southern California as the Colorado turkey (or water-turkey), from the Colorado river. (See
wood-ibis.) The name has been erroneously applied to several different ibises which belong to another family—a misnomer due in part to an old error which identified T. ibis with the Egyptian ibis, Ibis religiosa.
- n. obsolete Mycteria, the genus of certain storks.
- n. Greek mythology A Phrygian king who was condemned to remain in Tartarus, chin deep in water, with fruit-laden branches hanging above his head; whenever he tried to drink or eat, the water and fruit receded out of reach.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Gr. Myth.) A Phrygian king who was punished in the lower world by being placed in the midst of a lake whose waters reached to his chin but receded whenever he attempted to allay his thirst, while over his head hung branches laden with choice fruit which likewise receded whenever he stretched out his hand to grasp them.
- n. (Zoöl.) A genus of wading birds comprising the wood ibises.
- n. (Greek mythology) a wicked king and son of Zeus; condemned in Hades to stand in water that receded when he tried to drink and beneath fruit that receded when he reached for it
- Latin, from Greek Tantalos; see telə- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The name Tantalus, if slightly changed, offers two etymologies; either apo tes tou lithou talanteias, or apo tou talantaton einai, signifying at once the hanging of the stone over his head in the world below, and the misery which he brought upon his country.”
“She, like Tantalus, is placed in a situation where the intellectual blessing she sighs for is within her view; but she is not permitted to attain it: she is conscious of possessing equally strong mental powers; but she is obliged to yield, as the weaker creature.”
“Among the myriad objects mounted in his Brooklyn loft is a kinetic artwork by his younger brother, Chris, called "Tantalus Mackerel.”
“Did you ever hear the story of an ancient gentleman called Tantalus?”
“Staneholme, or to take the fee for the dowager lands of Eweford, and dwell in state in the centre of the stone and lime, and reek, and lords and ladies of Edinburgh; in part because I can hold out no longer, nor bide another day in Tantalus, which is the book name for an ill place of fruitless longing and blighted hope.”
“The thirst of Tantalus, which is eternal and unquenchable -- the pain of Tityus, upon whose liver the vulture forever preys -- were here realized upon a gigantic scale.”
“Might it be, perhaps, that sepia drawing -- above the 'Tantalus' on the oak sideboard at the far end -- of a woman's face gazing out into the room?”
“That universe’s Kirk had come back, found the secret of his great weapon—an alien device called the Tantalus Field, useful for making people vanish abruptly—had been compromised; in fact, given to Spock.”
“Also, as time went by, there arose a mountain house on Tantalus, to which the family could flee when the "sick wind" blew from the south.”
“Hosts of guests had known the comfort and joy of her mountain house on Tantalus, and of her volcano house, her mauka (mountainward) house, and her makai (seaward) house on the big island of Hawaii.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘Tantalus’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Looking for tweets for Tantalus.