Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun plural The spirits of the dead considered in ancient Rome as frightening specters and often exorcised from homes in religious rituals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • In zoology:
  • Lemurs: equivalent to Lemuroidea.
  • A group of noctuid moths.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun plural Spirits or ghosts of the departed; specters.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The spirits or ghosts of the dead.

Etymologies

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

[Latin Lemurēs.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin See lemur.

Examples

  • 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.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • “No farmer will fell the forest around it for fear of angering the lemures.”

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • “No farmer will fell the forest around it for fear of angering the lemures.”

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • 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.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • That way, they belong to old Egypt and will not become lemures to haunt Rome.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • That way, they belong to old Egypt and will not become lemures to haunt Rome.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • 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.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • 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.

    Wylder's Hand

  • 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/'

    Vittorio, The Vampire

  • On leaving human bodies they become lares if they have shown themselves good, if evil, lemures or larvae.

    Vittorio, The Vampire

Comments

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  • " fermented lemures, fiery spectres,

    embottled spirit vapors swirling in the crude"

    "The Sink" by Catherine Bowman in The New Yorker, June 28, 2010, p 36

    July 14, 2010