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

  • n. Greek & Roman Mythology Any of numerous minor deities represented as beautiful maidens inhabiting and sometimes personifying features of nature such as trees, waters, and mountains.
  • n. A girl, especially a beautiful one.
  • n. The larval form of certain insects, such as silverfish and grasshoppers, usually resembling the adult form but smaller and lacking fully developed wings. Also called nympha.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The larva of certain insects.
  • n. Any minor female deity associated with water, forests, grotto, etc.
  • n. A young girl, especially one who inspires lustful feelings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A goddess of the mountains, forests, meadows, or waters.
  • n. A lovely young girl; a maiden; a damsel.
  • n. The pupa of an insect; a chrysalis.
  • n. Any one of a subfamily (Najades) of butterflies including the purples, the fritillaries, the peacock butterfly, etc.; -- called also naiad.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In mythology, one of a numerous class of inferior divinities, imagined as beautiful maidens, eternally young, who were considered as tutelary spirits of certain localities and objects, or of certain races and families, and whose existence depended upon that of the things with which they were identified.
  • n. Hence, a young and attractive woman; a maiden; a damsel.
  • n. In entomology, the third stage of an insect's transformation, intervening between the larva and the imago; a pupa; a chrysalis; a nympha. See cuts under Termes and Nysius.
  • n. In insects which undergo an incomplete metamorphosis, the stage in which the wing-pads appear.

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

  • n. a voluptuously beautiful young woman
  • n. (classical mythology) a minor nature goddess usually depicted as a beautiful maiden
  • n. a larva of an insect with incomplete metamorphosis (as the dragonfly or mayfly)


Middle English nimphe, from Old French, from Latin nympha, from Greek numphē.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French nimphe, from Latin nympha ("nymph, bride"), from Ancient Greek νύμφη (numphē, "bride"). (Wiktionary)



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