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[uh-don-is, uh-doh-nis] /əˈdɒn ɪs, əˈdoʊ nɪs/
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.
a very handsome young man.
Origin of Adonis
1615-25 for def 2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for adonises


(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
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 adonises



"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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adonises 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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