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[kar-ee-at-id] /ˌkær iˈæt ɪd/
noun, plural caryatids, caryatides
[kar-ee-at-i-deez] /ˌkær iˈæt ɪˌdiz/ (Show IPA).
a sculptured female figure used as a column.
Compare atlas (def 5).
Origin of caryatid
1555-65; < Latin Caryātides (singular Caryātis) < Greek Karyā́tides columns shaped like women, literally, women of Karýai, Laconia
Related forms
caryatidal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for caryatid


noun (pl) -ids, -ides (-ɪˌdiːz)
a column, used to support an entablature, in the form of a draped female figure Compare telamon
Derived Forms
caryatidal, caryatidean, caryatic, caryatidic (ˌkærɪəˈtɪdɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin Caryātides, from Greek Karuatides priestesses of Artemis at Karuai (Caryae), village in Laconia
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 caryatid

"carved female figure used as a column," 1560s, from Middle French cariatide, from Latin caryatides, from Greek Karyatides (singular Karyatis) "priestesses of Artemis at Caryae" (Greek Karyai), a town in Laconia where dance festivals were held in Artemis' temple.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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