Definitions

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

  • n. Greek Mythology One of the nymphs who lived in and presided over brooks, springs, and fountains.
  • n. The satellite of Neptune that is closest to the planet.
  • n. The aquatic nymph of certain insects, such as the mayfly, damselfly, or dragonfly.
  • n. An aquatic plant of the genus Naias.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A female deity (nymph) associated with water, especially a spring, stream, or other fresh water.
  • n. The aquatic larva (nymph) of a dragonfly or damselfly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A water nymph; one of the lower female divinities, fabled to preside over some body of fresh water, as a lake, river, brook, or fountain.
  • n. Any species of a tribe (Naiades) of freshwater bivalves, including Unio, Anodonta, and numerous allied genera; a river mussel.
  • n. One of a group of butterflies. See Nymph.
  • n. Any plant of the order Naiadaceæ, such as eelgrass, pondweed, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Greek and Roman mythology, a water-nymph; a female deity presiding over springs and streams.
  • n. In botany, a plant of the genus Naias; also, sometimes, any plant of the Naiadaceæ.
  • n. One of the naiades or pearly fresh-water mussels; a fresh-water mollusk as distinguished from an oceanid or marine mollusk.

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

  • n. (Greek mythology) a nymph of lakes and springs and rivers and fountains
  • n. submerged aquatic plant having narrow leaves and small flowers; of fresh or brackish water

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin nāias, nāiad-, from Greek nāias, probably from nān, to flow; see (s)nāu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin naias, from Ancient Greek Ναϊάς (Nāïas, "naiad"), from νάειν (naein, "to flow"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She was a child of the whole world, as the naiad is the child of the river, and the oread of the mountain.

    There & Back

  • I know, I had said the naiad was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen, but she had been wet and dirty, and, even though she looked like she’d risen out of a Pre-Raphaelite pond, unmistakably Twenty-First Century.

    To Say Nothing of the Dog

  • The gold satin bow waved in the breeze at me, looking like a willowy naiad or dryad from Greek mythology.

    Anhedonia (excerpt 2)

  • No faun, no selkie, no naiad, and the stocks of human and Centaur-in the cold-larders and in the fattening pens-were (so he said) dangerously low.

    Tran Siberian

  • It is easy to see how a gnat-cloud might be seen as a dancing naiad, a water sprite.

    Wildwood

  • And worse still, she's being shadowed by her ditsy twin sister -- a naiad who simply can't seem to stay out of trouble.

    New Book Releases for Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Fantasy – November 3, 2009

  • Was there a marble fountain, which superstition had dedicated to some sequestered naiad — it was surrounded by olives, almond and orange trees — its cistern was repaired, and taught once more to retain its crystal treasures.

    Anne of Geierstein

  • Mecistaeus, exterminates Dresos and Opheltios, Esepius, and that Pedasus whom the naiad Abarbarea bore to the blameless Bucolion; Ulysses overthrows Pidytes of Percosius; Antilochus, Ablerus; Polypaetes,

    Les Miserables

  • While the Bread and Circus Product Placement Olympi-ad mercifully distracts some from crashing banks, anthrax cover-ups and sub-penis envy, I am doing last minute lobbying of OOC for larger time clock numbers at the pool for my myopic 41 year old naiad shero.

    Kate Clinton: Don't Hold Your Breath

  • The naiad hummed under her breath and the gills on the side of her neck yawned pink against her pale blue skin.

    Why we proofread before turning in a manuscript

Comments

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  • Greek satellite of Neptune: a type of dragonfly: from Greek "to flow"

    August 13, 2008