American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Roman Mythology Any of a group of rural deities represented as having the body of a man and the horns, ears, tail, and sometimes legs of a goat.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman mythology, one of a class of demigods or rural deities, sometimes confounded with satyrs. The form of the fauns was originally human, but with a short goat's tail, pointed ears, and small horns; later they were represented with the hind legs of a goat, thus taking the type of the Greek Pan.
- n. Roman mythology A woodland creature with pointed ears, legs, and short horns of a goat and a fondness for unrestrained revelry.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rom. Myth.) A god of fields and shipherds, diddering little from the satyr. The fauns are usually represented as half goat and half man.
- n. ancient Italian deity in human shape, with horns, pointed ears and a goat's tail; equivalent to Greek satyr
- From Latin Faunus. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, from Latin Faunus, Faunus. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“(SAY-tuhr) [Roman name faun] A creature in classical mythology who was part man and part goat.”
“If that statue could move like a faun, that is what”
“The laws regulating the geographical distribution of animals, and their combination into distinct zoölogical provinces called faunæ, with definite limits, are very imperfectly understood as yet; but so closely are all things linked together from the beginning that I am convinced we shall never find the clew to their meaning till we carry on our investigations in the past and the present simultaneously.”
“In the condition of organic life when the supremely predatory creature man rose to domination, the species were grouped in those vast organizations which were of old termed faunæ and floræ, but which are now better known as biological fields or provinces.”
“The faun is a natural and delightful link betwixt human and brute life, with something of a divine character intermingled.”
“When Proietto returns to dance with them, his wary, hieratic stance is an instant evocation of Nijinsky as the faun himself.”
“Continuing the classical themes, one sports the head and horns of a faun set in alternating bands of black and deep red.”
“A typical set sees him trotting about like a genteel and very gay faun, throwing out absurdist rants, implausible anecdotes and ludicrous theories.”
“It was the first time he had ever given a reading and his story about a faun seeking his first sexual experience in the woods captivated me.”
“He is not the gentle faun, the Mr. Tumnus, of the Daley machine.”
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Turned this up on etymonline.com (link). It's amazing.
1937, coined in the fantasy tales of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973).
On a blank leaf I scrawled: 'In a hole...
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