- (in folklore) a female marine creature, having the head, torso, and arms of a woman and the tail of a fish.
- a highly skilled female swimmer.
Origin of mermaid
Examples from the Web for mermaid
Dora is seen getting dressed as a mermaid by a cursor being manned by some omniscient game player.Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking
January 8, 2015
She occasionally has to dress up as a mermaid for her gig at a fancy Miami hotel.‘Jane the Virgin’ Is The CW’s Best Show Ever
October 28, 2014
It was inspired by the short story “Mermaid in a Jar” by writer Sheila Heti, who spoke with Simmons for Interview magazine.A Doll’s Life: Laurie Simmons Explores Kigurumi
March 10, 2014
Daryl Hannah plays the mermaid who names herself after an avenue and eats the whole lobster.Nora Ephron’s Favorite Love Stories
February 14, 2012
It is quite fitting that the scene should be set in the "Mermaid."Browning's England
Helen Archibald Clarke
Urquhart called her Undine, and she was mostly known as the Mermaid.Love and Lucy
Maurice Henry Hewlett
However that may be, certain it is that this is a red-letter night at the Mermaid.Shakespeare's Christmas Gift to Queen Bess
Anna Benneson McMahan
For Jim was not incapable of casting stones at even so rare a curiosity as a mermaid.
"Yet it would be classical to dote upon a mermaid," Caius murmured.
- an imaginary sea creature fabled to have a woman's head and upper body and a fish's tail
Word Origin and History for mermaid
mid-14c., mermayde, literally "maid of the sea," from Middle English mere "sea, lake" (see mere (n.)) + maid. Old English had equivalent merewif "water-witch" (see wife), meremenn "mermaid, siren." Tail-less in northern Europe; the fishy form is a medieval influence from classical sirens. A favorite sign of taverns and inns since at least early 15c. (in reference to the inn on Bread Street, Cheapside, London). Mermaid pie (1660s) was "a sucking pig baked whole in a crust."
A legendary marine creature with the head and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish; the masculine, less well-known equivalent is a merman. Though linked to the classical Sirens, mermaids may be nothing more than sailors' fanciful reports of the playful antics of dugongs or manatees.