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[sur-ber-uh s] /ˈsɜr bər əs/
noun, plural Cerberuses, Cerberi
[sur-buh-rahy] /ˈsɜr bəˌraɪ/ (Show IPA),
for 2.
Also, Kerberos. Classical Mythology. a dog, usually represented as having three heads, that guarded the entrance of the infernal regions.
a formidable and often surly keeper or guard.
Related forms
[ser-beer-ee-uh n] /sərˈbɪər i ən/ (Show IPA),
Cerberic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cerberi
Historical Examples
  • With the change of the abode of the dead from inferno to heaven the two cerberi are eo ipso also evicted.

    Cerberus, The Dog of Hades Maurice Bloomfield
British Dictionary definitions for cerberi


(Greek myth) a dog, usually represented as having three heads, that guarded the entrance to Hades
a sop to Cerberus, a bribe or something given to propitiate a potential source of danger or problems
Derived Forms
Cerberean (səˈbɪərɪən) adjective
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 cerberi


"watch-dog guardian of Hades," late 14c., Latinized form of Greek Kerberos, of unknown origin, according to Klein perhaps cognate with Sanskrit karbarah, sabalah "spotted, speckled;" Sabalah was the name of one of the two dogs of Yama.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cerberi in Culture
Cerberus [(sur-buh-ruhs)]

In classical mythology, the three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to Hades.

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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