- (sometimes initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. any of a class of nymphs presiding over rivers and springs.
- the juvenile form of the dragonfly, damselfly, or mayfly.
- a female swimmer, especially an expert one.
- Botany. a plant of the genus Najas, having narrow leaves and solitary flowers.
- Entomology. an aquatic nymph.
- a freshwater mussel.
Origin of naiad
Examples from the Web for naiad
First, a naiad is a water nymph in Greek myth—a woman who looked over the waterways.
If you look in the dictionary today, it says “naiad: any skillful female wimmer.”
Why it is thus, one knows in heaven above: But, a poor Naiad, I guess not.Endymion
"She looks like a fabled Naiad just risen from the deep," was my criticism on her.Mizora: A Prophecy
Mary E. Bradley
Not so Aimée; her pencil had been busy all the while, but there was no Naiad on her page.The Hour and the Man
She vanished like a naiad startled by the approach of a mortal.The Trembling of a Leaf
William Somerset Maugham
That is as much to say, then, that the story of my Naiad has displeased the king?Ten Years Later
Alexandre Dumas, Pere
- Greek myth a nymph dwelling in a lake, river, spring, or fountain
- the aquatic larva of the dragonfly, mayfly, and related insects
- Also called: water nymph any monocotyledonous submerged aquatic plant of the genus Naias (or Najas), having narrow leaves and small flowers: family Naiadaceae (or Najadaceae)
- any of certain freshwater mussels of the genus UnioSee mussel (def. 2)
Word Origin and History for naiad
"water nymph," c.1600, from Latin Nais, Naias (genitive naiadis), from Greek Naias (plural Naiades) "river nymph," from naiein "to flow," from PIE *naw-yo-, suffixed form of root *(s)nau- "to swim, flow, let flow" (see nutriment). Dryden used the Latin singular form Nais, and the plural Naiades is attested in English from late 14c.