from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. (noun) In Greek myth, a wood-nymph believed to live and die with the tree to which she was attached.
- n. (noun) In entomology: A dryad or wood-nymph, a butterfly of the old genus Hamadryas.
- n. (noun) In herpetology, a large, hooded, venomous Indian serpent, Naja hamadryas or Hamadryas elaps, now Ophiophagus elaps. It is related to the cobra.
- n. (noun) In mammalogy, a large Abyssinian baboon, Cynocephalus hamadryas, with long mane and whiskers and tufted tail. Also called hebe.
In the pale, elusive moonlight, and with that startled poise of figure, she might well have been the hamadryad at bay of one of her most famous dances.
Any face might look out from that mist, any white feet of nymph or hamadryad pass among the glimmering aisles; in the dim, lilac-tinted distance it may be that Merlin still sleeps in his vaporous magic circle.
But closer examination proved the bones to be those of a packda (ape). Snakes and worms wriggled out of the skeleton, and Piang shrank back in fear. The dread hamadryad leered at him; poisonous toads and lizards scurried for cover.
'Hamadryad' is Greek in origin, and translates as 'together (hama) tree (drus).'