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

  • n. An organism, organ, or part consisting of two or more tissues of different genetic composition, produced as a result of organ transplant, grafting, or genetic engineering.
  • n. A substance, such as an antibody, created from the proteins or genes or two different species.
  • n. An individual who has received a transplant of genetically and immunologically different tissue.
  • n. A fanciful mental illusion or fabrication.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Chimera, or any fabulous creature with parts from different animals.
  • n. A vain, foolish, or incongruous fancy, or creature of the imagination; as, the chimera of an author.
  • n. An organism with genetically distinct cells originating from two zygotes.
  • n. A gargoyle (fictional winged creature)
  • n. A cartilaginous marine fish in the subclass Holocephali and especially the order Chimaeriformes, with a blunt snout, long tail, and a spine before the first dorsal fin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A monster represented as vomiting flames, and as having the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a dragon.
  • n. A vain, foolish, or incongruous fancy, or creature of the imagination.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Greek myth, a fire-breathing monster, the fore part of whose body, according to the Iliad, was that of a lion, the middle that of a goat, and the hinder that of a dragon, or which, according to Hesiod, had three heads, one of each of these animals: supposed by the ancients to represent a volcanic mountain of that name in Lycia, the top of which was said to be the resort of lions, the middle that of goats, and the foot that of serpents.
  • n. Hence— In ornamental art, etc., a fantastic assemblage of animal forms so combined as to produce a single complete but unnatural design.
  • n. An absurd or impossible creature of the imagination; a vain or idle fancy; a fantastic conceit.
  • n. Same as chimere.

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

  • n. a grotesque product of the imagination
  • n. (Greek mythology) fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head and a goat's body and a serpent's tail; daughter of Typhon


Middle English chimere, Chimera, from Old French, from Latin chimaera, from Greek khimaira, chimera, she-goat; see ghei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek χίμαιρα (khímaira). The fabulous monster in Lycia (with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail), supposedly personification of snow or winter, originally "year-old she-goat", from χεῖμα (kheima, "winter season"). Meaning "wild fantasy" first recorded 1587. (Wiktionary)


  • Infallibility; Protestants devoting themselves to the dismal task of paring down the dimensions of this miracle, and reducing the credibility of that one -- as if any appreciable relief from the burden of faith could be so obtained; sentimental sceptics, who, after labouring to demolish what they call the chimera of superstition, fall to weeping as they remember they have now no lies to teach their children; democrats who are frightened at the rough voice of the people, and aristocrats flirting with democracy.

    Obiter Dicta

  • Where the chimera is viewed as strong, this may in turn act as a pressure for evasive dewarping as writers mine highly conjectural theory for original ideas.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • February 24th, 2009 at 11: 48 pm technically, according to greek mythology, a chimera is not a human-animal hybrid, but a multi-species hybrid. a centaur would be a better choice to make your point. (/obnoxious pedantry)

    Matthew Yglesias » Speech FAIL

  • This leads to the interesting question of what happens to the extra soul when tetragametic chimerism happens. the chimera is formed from the merger of two fraternal twins in a very early (zygote or blastocyst) phase.

    Think Progress » Bush on Stem Cell Veto: ‘These Boys and Girls Are Not Spare Parts’

  • In humans, a chimera occurs when one fraternal twin fuses with another in utero.

    Rogue Oracle

  • “In mythology, the chimera was a combination of a lion, a goat, and a snake,” Tara said.

    Rogue Oracle

  • The term chimera comes from Greek mythology, and refers to a creature made of the parts of different animals.

    Steven Potter: 'Designer Genes': Stem Cells Used to Make Replacement Organs

  • Durack's emphasis was a careful undressing of "new urbanism": without an awareness of urban ecology and a strategic input, the urban village may be little more than a dangerous "chimera" -- a code word for impossible fantasy.

    Charles R. Wolfe: Urbanism, Placemaking and the Venetian Ghetto

  • But this hybrid, known as a chimera, has sparked serious ethical debate.

    CNN Transcript Jan 5, 2007

  • To fool someone into sacrificing his life to battle a chimera is a hideous abuse of the public trust.



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  • It is also spelt 'chimaera' reflecting its Greek origin. Originally, it was a fabulous beast - a fire-sputing monster with a lion's head, srpent's tail and a goat's body. It came to mean any idle or wild fancy, especially one that would prove to be short-lived, to 'melt away' like a mirage.

    April 6, 2009

  • Typically seen in zoology (but also discovered to a rare extent in human beings), a chimera is an animal that has two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells that originated in different zygotes; if the different cells emerged from the same zygote, it is called a mosaicism.


    March 6, 2009

  • In medicine, a person composed of two genetically distinct types of cells. About 8% of non-identical twin pairs are chimeras.

    October 12, 2008