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2017 Word of the Year

lemures

[lem-yuh-reez; Latin lem-oo-res] /ˈlɛm yəˌriz; Latin ˈlɛm ʊˌrɛs/
plural noun, Roman Religion.
1.
the ghosts of the dead of a family, considered as troublesome unless exorcised or propitiated; larvae.
Origin of lemures
1545-1555
From Latin, dating back to 1545-55; See origin at lemur
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lemures
Historical Examples
  • If neglected they became spiteful, and were then known as lemures.

  • I had read of banshees, lemures and leprechauns; they were the ghosts and the fairies of ignorance but they were not like this.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • There is, however, some confusion even among the ancients themselves, as to the respective qualities of the larvæ and lemures.

    The Dance of Death Francis Douce
  • These ideas are older than our science, for the name, lemures, given them means "ghosts."

  • For it was uncertain whether the paternal Manes were good spirits, Lares, or evil spirits, and lemures.

    Ten Great Religions James Freeman Clarke
  • Other spirits, the lemures and Larvæ, more nearly correspond to our ghosts.

  • Apuleius, however, is wholly uncritical, and the distinction between Larvæ and lemures is certainly not borne out by facts.

    Greek and Roman Ghost Stories

    Lacy Collison-Morley
  • Philosophy, never fit for the people, had entered the best houses, and the image of Epicurus had taken the place of the lemures.

    Imaginary Conversations and Poems Walter Savage Landor
  • Their hypothetical common ancestor, the Archipithecus, may have descended directly or indirectly from a branch of the lemures.

    The Last Link Ernst Haeckel
  • And, methinketh, a dishonest man will have sundrie frights from the Lares and lemures.

British Dictionary definitions for lemures

lemures

/ˈlɛmjʊˌriːz/
plural noun
1.
(Roman myth) the spirits of the dead
Word Origin
Latin: see lemur
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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