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chimaera

[ki-meer-uh, kahy-]
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noun
  1. any fish of the family Chimaeridae, the male of which has a spiny clasping organ over the mouth.
  2. any similar fish of the group Holocephali, which includes this family.
  3. chimera.
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Origin of chimaera

First recorded in 1795–1805; see origin at chimera

chimera

or chi·mae·ra

[ki-meer-uh, kahy-]
noun, plural chi·me·ras.
  1. (often initial capital letter) a mythological, fire-breathing monster, commonly represented with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.
  2. any similarly grotesque monster having disparate parts, especially as depicted in decorative art.
  3. a horrible or unreal creature of the imagination; a vain or idle fancy: He is far different from the chimera your fears have made of him.
  4. Genetics. an organism composed of two or more genetically distinct tissues, as an organism that is partly male and partly female, or an artificially produced individual having tissues of several species.
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Origin of chimera

1350–1400; Middle English chimera < Latin chimaera < Greek chímaira she-goat; akin to Old Norse gymbr, English gimmer ewe-lamb one year (i.e., one winter) old, Latin hiems winter (see hiemal), Greek cheimṓn winter

Synonyms

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3. dream, fantasy, delusion.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chimaera

Historical Examples

  • “The Chimaera must have done this mischief,” thought Bellerophon.

    My First Cruise

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • All at once, Bellerophon started as from a dream, and knew it to be the Chimaera.

    My First Cruise

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Perhaps, after all, the best way to fight a Chimaera is by getting as close to it as you can.

    My First Cruise

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • He was afraid lest King Iobates should imagine that he had fled from the Chimaera.

    My First Cruise

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Still the bridge was believed to be a mere fable, a chimaera.


British Dictionary definitions for chimaera

chimaera

noun
  1. any tapering smooth-skinned cartilaginous deep-sea fish of the subclass Holocephali (or Bradyodonti), esp any of the genus Chimaera. They have a skull in which the upper jaw is fused to the craniumSee also rabbitfish (def. 1)
  2. Greek myth a variant spelling of chimera (def. 1)
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chimera

chimaera

noun
  1. (often capital) Greek myth a fire-breathing monster with the head of a lion, body of a goat, and tail of a serpent
  2. a fabulous beast made up of parts taken from various animals
  3. a wild and unrealistic dream or notion
  4. biology an organism, esp a cultivated plant, consisting of at least two genetically different kinds of tissue as a result of mutation, grafting, etc
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin chimaera, from Greek khimaira she-goat, from khimaros he-goat
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

Word Origin and History for chimaera

chimera

n.

fabulous monster, late 14c., from Old French chimere or directly from Medieval Latin chimera, from Latin Chimaera, from Greek khimaira, name of a mythical creature, slain by Bellerophon, with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail (supposedly personification of snow or winter); literally "year-old she-goat" (masc. khimaros), from kheima "winter season" (see hibernation). Figurative meaning "wild fantasy" first recorded 1580s in English (attested 13c. in French).

Beestis clepid chymeres, that han a part of ech beest, and suche ben not, no but oonly in opynyoun. [Wyclif, "Prologue"]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chimaera in Medicine

chimera

(kī-mîrə, kĭ-)
n.
  1. One who has received a transplant of genetically and immunologically different tissue.
  2. Twins with two immunologically different types of red blood cells.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

chimaera in Culture

chimera

[(keye-meer-uh, ki-meer-uh)]

A monster in classical mythology who had the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a dragon or serpent.

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Note

Figuratively, a “chimera” is a creation of the imagination, especially a wild creation.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.