Definitions

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

  • noun 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.
  • noun A sexually mature and attractive young woman.
  • noun The immature form of an insect, such as a grasshopper, that does not pass through a pupal stage during metamorphosis. Nymphs resemble adults but are smaller and lack fully developed wings.
  • noun The eight-legged immature form of certain arachnids, such as ticks and mites.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In insects which undergo an incomplete metamorphosis, the stage in which the wing-pads appear.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Hence, a young and attractive woman; a maiden; a damsel.
  • noun 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English nimphe, from Old French, from Latin nympha, from Greek numphē.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French nimphe, from Latin nympha ("nymph, bride"), from Ancient Greek νύμφη (numphē, "bride").

Examples

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