American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The spirits of the dead considered in ancient Rome as frightening specters and often exorcised from the homes in religious rituals.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Among the ancient Romans, the spirits of the departed considered as evil-disposed specters or ghosts, who were supposed to do mischief at night to the living, and were exorcised annually with a ceremonial ritual by the head of each household, at midnight on May 9th, 11th, and 13th, on which days was celebrated the festival called lemuralia or lemuria. There were also games and other public observances of the festival. Also called
larvæ. Compare Lar, 1.
- In zoology:
- Lemurs: equivalent to Lemuroidea.
- A group of noctuid moths.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Spirits or ghosts of the departed; specters.
- Latin See lemur. (Wiktionary)
- Latin Lemurēs. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“For if no one has seen farfadets, or lemures, or dives, or peris, or demons, or cacodemons, the predictions of astrologers have often been found true.”
““No farmer will fell the forest around it for fear of angering the lemures.””
“That way, they belong to old Egypt and will not become lemures to haunt Rome.”
“Coals glowed red in several braziers to take the chill out of the room, and the servants moved like lemures in and out of the shadows.”
“Not being given to the fear of larvae and lemures, and also knowing that a mistake is easily committed in a great house like that, and that my visitor might have made one, I grew drowsy in a little while, and soon fell asleep again.”
“Lemures or larvae, and Ursula, she said to me that she had been young, young as me; they were all human and now they are lemures/”
“On leaving human bodies they become lares if they have shown themselves good, if evil, lemures or larvae.”
“*  Nocturnos lemures, portentaque Thessala finxit”
“We had hardly reached the accustomed spot, when we both saw her at once gliding towards us; punctually as the ancient writers describe the motion of their lemures, which swoon along the ground, neither marking the sand nor bending the herbage.”
“I had read of banshees, lemures and leprechauns; they were the ghosts and the fairies of ignorance but they were not like this.”
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