• synonyms


[uh-don-is, uh-doh-nis]
  1. Classical Mythology. a youth slain by a wild boar but permitted by Zeus to pass four months every year in the lower world with Persephone, four with Aphrodite, and four wherever he chose.
  2. a very handsome young man.
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Origin of Adonis

1615–25 for def 2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for adonis

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He had probably "Venus and Adonis" in his pocket when he first reached London.

  • It is all concerned with the wooing of young Adonis by Venus, an older woman.

  • One spring morning while hunting in the forest, Adonis wounded two.

    Classic Myths

    Mary Catherine Judd

  • According to others, however, it was the blood of Adonis which dyed the flower.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • Pansy went, like the steed of Adonis, as if she told the steps.

British Dictionary definitions for adonis


  1. Greek myth a handsome youth loved by Aphrodite. Killed by a wild boar, he was believed to spend part of the year in the underworld and part on earth, symbolizing the vegetative cycle
  2. a handsome young man
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin, via Greek Adōnis from Phoenician adōni my lord, a title of the god Tammuz; related to Hebrew Adonai
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 adonis



"a beau," 1620s, from Greek Adonis, name of the youth beloved by Aphrodite, from Phoenician adon "lord," probably originally "ruler," from base a-d-n "to judge, rule." Adonai is the Hebrew cognate.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

adonis in Culture


In classical mythology, an extremely beautiful boy who was loved by Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

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By extension, an “Adonis” is any handsome young man.
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.