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Adonis

[uh-don-is, uh-doh-nis] /əˈdɒn ɪs, əˈdoʊ nɪs/
noun
1.
Classical Mythology. a youth slain by a wild boar but permitted by Zeus to pass four months every year in the lower world with Persephone, four with Aphrodite, and four wherever he chose.
2.
a very handsome young man.
Origin of Adonis
1615-1625
1615-25 for def 2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Adonis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had probably "Venus and Adonis" in his pocket when he first reached London.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • It is all concerned with the wooing of young Adonis by Venus, an older woman.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • One spring morning while hunting in the forest, Adonis wounded two.

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • According to others, however, it was the blood of Adonis which dyed the flower.

    Storyology

    Benjamin Taylor
  • Pansy went, like the steed of Adonis, as if she told the steps.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
British Dictionary definitions for Adonis

Adonis

/əˈdəʊnɪs/
noun
1.
(Greek myth) a handsome youth loved by Aphrodite. Killed by a wild boar, he was believed to spend part of the year in the underworld and part on earth, symbolizing the vegetative cycle
2.
a handsome young man
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, via Greek Adōnis from Phoenician adōni my lord, a title of the god Tammuz; related to Hebrew Adonai
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Adonis
n.

"a beau," 1620s, from Greek Adonis, name of the youth beloved by Aphrodite, from Phoenician adon "lord," probably originally "ruler," from base a-d-n "to judge, rule." Adonai is the Hebrew cognate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Adonis in Culture

Adonis definition


In classical mythology, an extremely beautiful boy who was loved by Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

Note: By extension, an “Adonis” is any handsome young man.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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