[ ar-uh-thoo-zuh ]

  1. Also called dragon's mouth, swamp pink. an orchid, Arethusa bulbosa, of eastern North America, having a solitary pink flower with a blotched, fringed lip: now rare.

  2. (initial capital letter)Classical Mythology. a nymph who was changed into a spring to save her when she was being pursued by the river god Alpheus.

Origin of arethusa

1810–20; (<New Latin ) <Greek Aréthousa

Words Nearby arethusa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use arethusa in a sentence

  • Hence the story arose that a cup thrown into the Alpheus appeared again in arethusa.

  • A ride to the Fountain of arethusa had been planned for the next day, and I had the happiness of being invited to join it.

    Byron | Richard Edgcumbe
  • Not long after this the “gallant arethusa” was wrecked upon the rocks near Ushant, in pursuit of an enemy.

  • arethusa always receives her with the respect and honour due to her Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair.

    Castellinaria | Henry Festing Jones
  • And after all, once started again upon their inland journey, both Philip and his wife regretted not the absence of arethusa.

    Hubert's Wife | Minnie Mary Lee

British Dictionary definitions for arethusa (1 of 2)


/ (ˌærɪˈθjuːzə) /

  1. a North American orchid, Arethusa bulbosa, having one long narrow leaf and one rose-purple flower fringed with yellow

British Dictionary definitions for Arethusa (2 of 2)


/ (ˌærɪˈθjuːzə) /

  1. Greek myth a nymph who was changed into a spring on the island of Ortygia to escape the amorous advances of the river god Alpheus

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