from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Greek & Roman Mythology A wood nymph who lives only as long as the tree of which she is the spirit lives.
- n. See king cobra.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A wood-nymph who was physically a part of her tree; fell the tree, kill the nymph.
- n. The king cobra.
- n. A kind of baboon, Papio hamadryas, venerated by the ancient Egyptians.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A tree nymph whose life ended with that of the particular tree, usually an oak, which had been her abode.
- n. A large venomous East Indian snake (Ophiophagus bungarus), allied to the cobras.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Greek myth, a wood-nymph believed to live and die with the tree to which she was attached.
- n. In entomology: A dryad or wood-nymph, a butterfly of the old genus Hamadryas.
- n. plural A group of lepidopterous insects.
- n. In herpetology, a large, hooded, venomous Indian serpent, Naja hamadryas or Hamadryas elaps, now Ophiophagus elaps. It is related to the cobra.
- n. In mammalogy, a large Abyssinian baboon, Cynocephalus hamadryas, with long mane and whiskers and tufted tail. Also called hebe.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the nymph or spirit of a particular tree
- n. large cobra of southeastern Asia and the East Indies; the largest venomous snake; sometimes placed in genus Naja
So in some vague way Charlie felt he had to go and say that to the tree, as if his father lived hi it like a god damned hamadryad or something; he found it very embarrassing to remember the thing at all, but he remembered, he remembered.
Not only does it happen in poetry, but common people often go farther than the poet and begin believing in the hamadryad in the wood or the spirit of the waters.
The dread hamadryad leered at him; poisonous toads and lizards scurried for cover.
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.
The poet's hamadryad and naiad, what are they, indeed, but cobwebby fictions, which must be brushed away if ideal truth is to be revealed?
There was about Hazlitt's wooing of Rachel the pathos which might distinguish the love affair of a Baptist angel and the hamadryad daughter of a Babayaga.
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.
This hamadryad was destined in the outcome to dwindle into a village housewife, she would have taken a lively interest in the number of eggs the hens were laying, she would even have assured her children, precisely in the way her father spoke of John Hughes, that young people ordinarily have foolish fancies which their rational elders agree to disregard.
But when they raised her from the floor they discovered the real cause of her death, for a second hamadryad, which had been concealed by her skirts, darted noiselessly under the bed.
The hamadryad, as you probably know, is perhaps the deadliest of all Eastern reptiles.