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[nahy-oh-bee] /ˈnaɪ oʊˌbi/
noun, Classical Mythology.
the daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion of Thebes. She provoked Apollo and Artemis to vengeance by taunting their mother, Leto, with the number and beauty of her own children; Niobe's children were slain and Zeus turned her into stone, in which state she continued to weep over her loss.
Related forms
Niobean, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Niobe
Historical Examples
  • The entire bearing more closely resembles that of the figures of the children of Niobe.

    History of Ancient Art Franz von Reber
  • The group of Niobe and her children, at Florence, has been attributed to him.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • Why, in the hall of Niobe I wanted to stay for days to cry and weep and enjoy myself.

  • The madness of Goliath and, of course, this gentleman Niobe.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
  • A week later the four Marine Lab ships, each equipped with a detector, started a search of Niobe's oceans.

    To Choke an Ocean Jesse F. (Jesse Franklin) Bone
  • Her face was beautiful as the face of a marble Niobe, but as pale and as full of anguish.

    The Golden Dog William Kirby
  • Prexaspes stood there, pale and motionless, compelled to watch the horrid scene, like Niobe when chained to Sipylus.

  • I marvel not that Niobe, alone Amid her dear, dead children, turned to stone.

    Laments Jan Kochanowski
  • Niobe, I call her in my own mind; for she melts into tears at the least emotion.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts Helen Hunt Jackson
  • I ought to be a Dido and Niobe and Cassandra rolled into one.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for Niobe


(Greek myth) a daughter of Tantalus, whose children were slain after she boasted of them: although turned into stone, she continued to weep
Derived Forms
Niobean (naɪˈəʊbɪən) 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
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Word Origin and History for Niobe

in Greek mythology, a queen of Thebes, daughter of Tantalus, changed to a stone while weeping for her children (slain, after she boasted of them overmuch, by Artemis and Apollo); hence the name is used figuratively for bereavement and woe. The name is said to mean literally "snowy; snowy-bright."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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