Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Greek Mythology The daughter of Tantalus who, after boasting that she had more children than Leto, suffered the killing of her own children by Artemis and Apollo, and turned to stone while bewailing their loss.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A daughter of Tantalus
  • proper n. A female given name

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The daughter of Tantalus, and wife of Amphion, king of Thebes. Her pride in her children provoked Apollo and Diana, who slew them all. Niobe herself was changed by the gods into stone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Gr. mythology, the daughter of Tantalus, married to Amphion, king of Thebes.
  • n. In zoology:
  • n. A genus of trilobites.
  • n. A genus of mollusks.
  • n. A genus of African weaver-birds of the subfamily Viduinæ. N. ardens and N. concolor are examples.
  • n. In botany, a genus of monocotyledonous plants belonging to the family Liliaceæ. See Funkia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Greek mythology) the daughter of Tantalus whose boasting about her children provoked Apollo and Artemis to slay them all; Niobe was turned to stone while bewailing her loss

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • HAMLET:

    O that this too too solid flesh would melt,

    Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!

    Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd

    His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! O God!

    How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable

    Seem to me all the uses of this world!

    Fie on't! O fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,

    That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature

    Possess it merely. That it should come to this!

    But two months dead!—nay, not so much, not two:

    So excellent a king; that was, to this,

    Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother,

    That he might not beteem the winds of heaven

    Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!

    Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him

    As if increase of appetite had grown

    By what it fed on: and yet, within a month,—

    Let me not think on't,—Frailty, thy name is woman!—

    A little month; or ere those shoes were old

    With which she followed my poor father's body

    Like Niobe, all tears;—why she, even she,—

    O God! a beast that wants discourse of reason,

    Would have mourn'd longer,—married with mine uncle,

    My father's brother; but no more like my father

    Than I to Hercules: within a month;

    Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears

    Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,

    She married:— O, most wicked speed, to post

    With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

    It is not, nor it cannot come to good;

    But break my heart,—for I must hold my tongue.

    - Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2

    August 6, 2010