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[mawr-fee-uh s, -fyoos]
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  1. Classical Mythology. a son of Hypnos and the god of dreams.
  1. in the arms of Morpheus, asleep.

Origin of Morpheus

1325–75; Middle English < Latin < Greek morph(ḗ) form + Latin -eus noun suffix; coined by Ovid, with allusion to the forms seen in dreams
Related formsMor·phe·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for morpheus


  1. Greek myth the god of sleep and dreams
Derived FormsMorphean, 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

Word Origin and History for morpheus


name for the god of dreams in Ovid, son of Sleep, literally "the maker of shapes," from Greek morphe "form, shape, figure," especially "a fine figure, a beautiful form; beauty, fashion, outward appearance," perhaps from PIE *merph-, a possible Greek root meaning "form." Related: Morphean. Cf. Morpho, an epithet of Aphrodite, literally "shapely."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

morpheus in Culture



A Roman god of sleep and dreams.


Someone who is “in the arms of Morpheus” is asleep.


The narcotic morphine was named after Morpheus.
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.
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